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The accuracy of thermal infrared emissivities derived from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance radiometer (ASTER) was assessed in an arid area in southern New Mexico, which includes the White Sands National Monument (WSNM) during 2006-2008. ASTER emissivities retrieved by the temperature and emissivity separation (TES) algorithm were directly compared with laboratory measurements of samples from WSNM. Good agreement was found for the high spectral contrast of gypsum and for the low spectral contrast of water bodies. Furthermore, the day/night consistency of ASTER emissivities was checked, and day/night emissivity differences lower than ±0.013 were observed. However, unexpected emissivity values larger than unity were retrieved by ASTER/TES at 8-9 μm , mainly concentrated over lava flow surfaces. The thermal infrared radiance image data with 90-m spatial resolution was resized to 180 m for the analysis in this paper to avoid misregistration problems due to terrain topography. Emissivity temporal variations were analyzed and attributed, in some cases, to the soil moisture variations. This was particularly noted after periods of high precipitation which occurred in August 2006. The results presented here show the high emissivity accuracy achievable with ASTER data in ideal atmospheric conditions and discuss some problems which should be considered in the future, as the retrieval of overestimated emissivity values.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:49 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: April 2011