DETER - Deforestation in the Amazon They total 388 km ²

Hello reader!

It follows a note published on the day (04/05) in the website of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) noting that 388 km² of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest verified by DETER in the last Three Months.

Duda Falcão

388 km² of Deforestation in the
Amazon Rainforest Verified by
DETER in the Last Three Months

Thursday, April 05, 2012

DETER, a system based on satellites of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPE) aimed at monitoring Amazon rainforest, has warned 388.13 km² of clearing or degradation in January, February and March, 2012.

The number represents the sum of warnings recorded in the last three months of 2012. The distribution of areas in the states is presented in the following chart.

Janeiro Fevereiro Março
Acre - - 0,61 km²
Amazonas - - 4,53 km²
Maranhão 2,54 km² 0,70 km² -
Mato Grosso 8,04 km² 285,46 km² 36,43 km²
Pará 9,89 km² 13,03 km² 8,09 km²
Rondônia 0,56 km² 5,88 km² 5,87 km²
Roraima - 1,55 km² 4,09 km²
Tocantins 0,86 km² - -
TOTAL 21,89 km² 306,62 km² 59,62 km²

Between November and April, which is the rainy season in the Amazon, the observation through satellites becomes harder due to the intensity of clouds covering the region. Thus INPE groups the months, although the system continues the regular operation and sends data to Ibama throughout this time. This time INPE publishes information of March along with January and February due to a Ministry of Environment requirement.

Yellow dots on the map below represent the location of an alert issued by DETER. Pink areas are places that could not be monitored due clouds coverage

Alert Map of January, when 85% of the Legal
Amazon area remained covered by clouds

Alert Map of February, when 57% of the Legal
Amazon area remained covered by clouds

Alert Map of March, when 55% of the Legal
Amazon area remained covered by clouds

Due to cloud cover variation between two months, also to satellite resolution, INPE does not recommend to compare data from different months or years obtained by DETER.

Check out the full reports on


Performed by the Earth Observation Coordination (Coordenação de Observação da Terra – OBT), DETER is a service aimed to monitor deforestation and forest degradation in the Amazon, based on satellite data of high revisiting frequency.

DETER system produces Amazon deforestation alerts, which guide supervision and ensure effective actions of forest clearing control. Although its data is released monthly or bimonthly, DETER results have been sent to IBAMA - responsible to overseeing warning areas - almost daily.

DETER uses data from Modis Terra satellite sensor, with a 250-meters spatial resolution, which makes possible to detect deforestation polygons with an area larger than 25 hectares. Some deforestation areas are not identified by the system due to cloud coverage.

The low resolution used by DETER is compensated by the ability of daily observation, which makes the system a perfect tool to quickly inform deforestation to surveillance authorities.

This system records both cleared areas, when satellites detect complete removal of native forest, and areas classified as progressive degradation, which reveal the process of deforestation in the region.

DETER outcomes are important indicators for control and supervision organizations. However, to compute an annual rate of forest removal by clear-cutting in Amazon rainforest, INPE works with PRODES (, which uses high resolution images capable of showing small deforestation points.

Jointly every disclosure of DETER’s data, INPE presents a sample evaluation report. Whether reports or data generated by DETER can be found at

Source: WebSite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE)


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