Lassen Volcanic National Park Disasters – NASA DEVELOP Summer 2017 @ Ames Research Center

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>>Narrator: Only from the skies can one beholdthis titanic masterpiece of nature shrouded in its vast mantle of white.

Giant wings over high Mount Lassen's peaksand vast wildernesses.

Speeding easily, swiftly, gracefully thousandsof feet in the air over what was once a wide crater which belched forth a torrential columnof molten rock and livid smoke >>Steve Buckley: So at Lassen Volcanic NationalPark, I think our interest, fundamentally, is in the resilience of the forest, thelong term resilience of the forest.

85% of Lassen volcanic national park is designatedwilderness, so it's protected under the 1964 Wilderness Act.

What it does is it qualifies one of the charactersof it is that it's untrammeled and unmanipulated, so it limits our ability to manage thelandscape actively.

When we have a situation where we have 100years of fire suppression, you need to reintroduce fire, but to reintroduce fire is challengingbecause reintroducing fire means that we're doing it into fuel loads that are really significant.

So the higher the fuel load makes the potentialfor more catastrophic fire.

But it can be very problematic as we saw in2012 with the Reading Fire.

>>Pilot voice: Reading Fire, August 12th 2012,17:20, we're looking at Prospect Lookout, and we'll go to IR >>Steve Buckley: Tree mortality is a complicatedchain of events.

A lot of it's being driven by drought, butdrought exacerbates other conditions.

We're seeing this sort of perfect stormof all of these other different factors that lead to this really significant mortalityepisodes that we've seen in California.

We're in this Catch-22 where we see verysignificant changes in the landscape that we need to be able to address, but we'relimited in our ability to do that using Earth observations in particular.

The ability to engage in NASA DEVELOP is reallyimportant because NASA DEVELOP provides us with this capacity that we don't have, butit not only provides us with this sort of immediate capacity of the 10-week term butit increases our capacity over the long term.

It allows us to have tools to be able to domore work.

>>Anna: We worked with our partners at Lassento create three site specific detailed products.

First we created a time series of tree mortalitysince 1984.

We collected growing season images, calculatedvegetation density and moisture, and made a composite for each year.

Then we combine multiple years to track howvegetation health changes over time.

>>John: For the second product, we used higherresolution satellite imagery to classify present day tree mortality.

Finally, we explored the feasibility of lidardata, to evaluate fuel loading.

Lidar, or light detection and ranging, useslasers to measure distances between a sensor and the target surface.

This can show the forest in much greater detailthan a photo, and in 3D.

>>Josh: Our partners will use these toolsto maintain a healthy and safe park.