Satellite maps to uncover the truth about stubble burning
1 JANUARY 2003
Agriculture has long been accused of contributing to air pollution through the practice of stubble burning, but a new Charles Sturt University (CSU) research project underway in the Riverina is aiming to quantify the extent of the practice. Using 30 years of satellite data, the project is investigating where stubble burning has occurred in the past, where it is carried out now and whether management practices have changed over time. The project is an initiative of the EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, an alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Department of Primary Industries based at Wagga Wagga. Researcher and spatial science expert Dr Remy DeHaan said, “With spatial science technology we can map 30 years of land management and show whether the practice has increased or decreased. Using satellite maps and historical knowledge means we can quantify the changes in management practices and provide an accurate picture of the extent of the burning.” Initially, Dr DeHaan is mapping an area covering the Wagga Wagga, Albury and Lake Cargelligo regions but there is potential for the project to expand Australia-wide.