Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Detection of Old Diffusive Windthrow Using Low Cost Resources. the Case of Xynthia Storm in the Vosges Mountains, 28 February 2010

Version 1 : Received: 9 September 2017 / Approved: 11 September 2017 / Online: 11 September 2017 (07:41:40 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Unlike the contiguous windthrows, the diffuse windthrows occurred as a result of wind gusts of lower speed (100-140 km/h) than in the first case (>140 km/h) are much more difficult to detect due to their much lower areas and due to their very large number, of several hundreds in the wooded mountain massifs. The objective of this research is to present a rapid procedure for the detection of the diffuse windthrows based on low cost, Landsat type images, knowing that certain sensors cannot be accessed without significant investments. Our application is based on the study of effects caused by the Xynthia storm in the Vosges Mountains in the North-East of France, on 28 February 2010. Thus, based on two sets of Landsat satellite images, we used the “dark object” approach and the Disturbance Index, as well as a classification of the images before and after the storm, resulting in a change map. Following the detection process, 257 scattered polygons were detected, totalling 229 ha. For validation purposes, high-resolution images and orthophotoplans taken before and after storm were used. The error matrix was calculated, achieving an overall accuracy of 86%, which confirms the quality of our analysis and supports this procedure for detecting diffuse windthrow based on low cost resources.


windthrow; Xynthia storm; Landsat imagery; limited data


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Environmental Science

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