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A generalized split-window algorithm for retrieving land-surface temperature from space

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2 Author(s)
Zhengming Wan ; Inst. for Comput. Earth. Syst. Sci., California Univ., Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; J. Dozier

Proposes a generalized split-window method for retrieving land-surface temperature (LST) from AVHRR and MODIS data. Accurate radiative transfer simulations show that the coefficients in the split-window algorithm for LST must vary with the viewing angle, if the authors are to achieve a LST accuracy of about 1 K for the whole scan swath range (±55° from nadir) and for the ranges of surface temperature and atmospheric conditions over land, which are much wider than those over oceans. The authors obtain these coefficients from regression analysis of radiative transfer simulations, and they analyze sensitivity and error over wide ranges of surface temperature and emissivity and atmospheric water vapor abundance and temperature. Simulations show that when atmospheric water vapor increases and viewing angle is larger than 45°, it is necessary to optimize the split-window method by separating the ranges of the atmospheric water vapor, lower boundary temperature, and the surface temperature into tractable subranges. The atmospheric lower boundary temperature and (vertical) column water vapor values retrieved from HIRS/2 or MODIS atmospheric sounding channels can be used to determine the range for the optimum coefficients of the split-window method. This new algorithm not only retrieves land-surface temperature more accurately, but is also less sensitive to uncertainty in emissivity and to instrument quantization error

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )