Identification of Black Dragon Forest Fire in Amur River Basin Using Satellite Borne NDVI Data and Its Impact on Long Range Transport of Pollutants: A Case Study


  • Ankita Nath Vivekananda College, West Bengal State University, India
  • Reshmita Nath Department of Earth System Science/Institute for Global Change Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China



The Greater Hinggan Forest was the world’s largest stand of evergreens, along the Black Dragon River (also known as Amur), which forms the border between Chinese Manchuria and Soviet Siberia. Black Dragon fire ranks as one of the worst environmental disasters of the 20th century and it burned about 18 million acres of conifer forest. In the 2nd week of May, 1987, we observe more than 10K rise in brightness temperature over a wide region in the China-Russia border. The weekly mean NDVI data shows the changes in greenness after the forest fire broke out. The NDVI value is positive with persistent greenness and vegetation in the Amur River valley, but from the 2nd week of May onwards the reddish patch appears to spread over the entire region, indicates the burned areas. In addition, we observe the impact of Black Dragon forest fire on tropospheric ozone concentration, aerosol index away from the location over North Pacific Ocean. A clear increase in atmospheric pollutants can be noticed after the forest fire event and the long range transports are confirmed with 72 hours NOAA HYSPLIT forward trajectory analysis.


Black Dragon forest fire; NDVI; Ozone; Aerosol; Transport; HYSPLIT model


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How to Cite

Nath, A., & Nath, R. (2019). Identification of Black Dragon Forest Fire in Amur River Basin Using Satellite Borne NDVI Data and Its Impact on Long Range Transport of Pollutants: A Case Study. Journal of Atmospheric Science Research, 2(3), 6–10.


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