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Special Issue "Remote Sensing for Land Surface Temperature (LST) Estimation, Generation, and Analysis"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Zhaoliang Li

Key Laboratory of Agri-informatics, Ministry of Agriculture/Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +(86) 10 82 10 50 77
Interests: thermal infrared remote sensing; land surface temperature; land surface emissivity; evapotranspiration; scaling problem; hyperspectral analysis; radiative transfer modelling
Guest Editor
Dr. Bo-Hui Tang

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Interests: retrieval and validation of land surface temperature/emissivity; land surface net radiation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the direct driving force in the exchange of long-wave radiation and turbulent heat fluxes at the surface–atmosphere interface, land surface temperature (LST) is one of the most important parameters in the physical processes of surface energy and water balance at local to global scales. Knowledge of reliable estimates of LST is crucial because many applications such as evapotranspiration, climate change, hydrological cycle, vegetation monitoring, urban climate and environmental studies, etc., rely on it.

With the development of remote sensing from space, satellite data offer the only possibility for measuring LST over the entire globe with sufficiently high temporal resolution and with complete spatially averaged rather than ground point-based values. Consequently, many efforts have been carried out to estimate LST from satellite thermal infrared (TIR) data. Up to now, many methods have been developed for retrieving LST from polar-orbit and geostationary satellite TIR data, and several methods are used to generate global LST products with fine spatial resolution, such as MODIS and ASTER LST products. However, there is still no “best method” for retrieving LST from space. All of the methods either rely on statistical relationships or assumptions and constraints to solve the inherent, ill-posed retrieval problem. Currently, TIR remote sensing measurements have been greatly improved in terms of spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution. These improvements will soon produce a clearer picture of the land surface than ever before. This is a good opportunity and also a big challenge to solve the inherent, ill-posed problem of retrieving LST from satellite data.

On the other hand, TIR data lose efficiency when the land surface is fully or partly covered by clouds. The passive microwave can observe the Earth’s surface under all-weather conditions but with a coarser spatial resolution. Its measurements are proposed to retrieve LST over cloudy skies and an effective model of combining LSTs retrieved from TIR and passive microwave satellite data is attempted to generate an all-weather high spatial LST product. This Special Issue plans to demonstrate the state-of-the-art reflecting the retrieval of LST from space measurements and the growing interest in generation and analyses of this parameter.

Related References
  1. Becker, F.; Li, Z.L. Temperature-independent spectral indices in thermal infrared bands. Remote Sens. Environ. 1990a, 32, 17–33.
  2. Becker, F.; Li, Z.L. Towards a local split window method over land surfaces. J. Remote Sens. 1990b, 11, 369–393.
  3. Wan, Z.; Dozier, J. A generalized split-window algorithm for retrieving land-surface temperature from space. IEEE Trans. Remote Sens. 1996, 34, 892–905.
  4. Wan, Z.; Li, L. A physics-based algorithm for retrieving land-surface emissivity and temperature from EOS/MODIS data. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 1997, 35, 980–996.
  5. Gillespie, A.R.; Rokugawa, S.; Matsunaga, T.; Cothern, J.S.; Hook, S; Kahle, A.B. A temperature and emissivity separation algorithm for Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) images. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 1998, 36, 1113–1126.
  6. Sobrino, J.A.; Sòria, G.; Prata, A.J. Surface temperature retrieval from along track scanning radiometer 2 data: Algorithms and validation. Geophys. Res. 2004, 109, D11101.
  7. Wan, Z.; Li, L. Radiance-based validation of the V5 MODIS land-surface temperature product. Int. J. Remote Sens. 2008, 29, 5373–5395.
  8. Tang, H.; Bi, Y.; Li, Z.L.*; Xia, J. Generalized split-window algorithm for estimate of land surface temperature from Chinese geostationary FengYun meteorological satellite (Fy-2C) data. Sensors 2008, 8, 933–951. doi:10.3390/s8020933.
  9. Hulley, G.C.; Hook, S.J. Generating consistent land surface temperature and emissivity products between ASTER and MODIS data for Earth science research. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 2011, 49, 1304–1315.
  10. Li, Z.L.*; Tang, H.; Wu, H.; Ren, H.; Yan, G.J.; Wan, Z.; Trigo, I.F.; Sobrino, J. Satellite-derived land surface temperature: Current status and perspectives. Remote Sens. Environ. 2013, 131, 14–37. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2012.12.008.
  11. Li, Z.L.*; Wu, H.; Wang, N.; Shi, Q.; Sobrino, J.A.; Wan, Z.; Tang, H.; Yan, G.J. Land surface emissivity retrieval from satellite data. Int. J. Remote Sens. 2013, 34, 3084–3127. doi:10.1080/01431161.2012.716540.
  12. Tang, H.; Li, L. Quantitative remote sensing in thermal infrared: Theory and applications. Springer Remote Sens./Photogramm. 2014, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-42027-6.
  13. Tang, H.; Shao, K.; Li, Z.L.*; Wu, H.; Nerry, F.; Zhou, G. Estimation and validation of land surface temperature from Chinese second generation polar-orbiting FY-3A VIRR data. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 3250–3273, doi:10.3390/rs70303250.
  14. Tang, H.; Shao, K.; Li, Z.L.*; Wu, H.; Tang, R. An improved NDVI-based threshold method for estimating land surface emissivity using MODIS satellite data. Int. J. Remote Sens. 2015, 36, 4864–4878. doi:10.1080/01431161.2015.1040132.
  15. Tang, B.H.*; Wang, J. A physics-based method to retrieve land surface temperature from MODIS daytime mid-infrared data. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 2016, 54, 4672–4679. doi:10.1109/TGRS.2016.2548500.
Dr. Zhao-Liang Li
Dr. Bo-Hui Tang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Land surface temperature
  • Land surface emissivity
  • Thermal infrared data
  • Passive microwave data
  • LST product generation
  • LST validation
  • LST analysis
  • Atmospheric corrections
  • Temperature and emissivity separation
  • Scaling

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity Retrieval from Field-Measured Hyperspectral Thermal Infrared Data Using Wavelet Transform
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 454; doi:10.3390/rs9050454
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 7 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Currently, the main difficulty in separating the land surface temperature (LST) and land surface emissivity (LSE) from field-measured hyperspectral Thermal Infrared (TIR) data lies in solving the radiative transfer equation (RTE). Based on the theory of wavelet transform (WT), this paper proposes a
[...] Read more.
Currently, the main difficulty in separating the land surface temperature (LST) and land surface emissivity (LSE) from field-measured hyperspectral Thermal Infrared (TIR) data lies in solving the radiative transfer equation (RTE). Based on the theory of wavelet transform (WT), this paper proposes a method for accurately and effectively separating LSTs and LSEs from field-measured hyperspectral TIR data. We show that the number of unknowns in the RTE can be reduced by decomposing and reconstructing the LSE spectrum, thus making the RTE solvable. The final results show that the errors introduced by WT are negligible. In addition, the proposed method usually achieves a greater accuracy in a wet-warm atmosphere than that in a dry-cold atmosphere. For the results under instrument noise conditions (NE∆T = 0.2 K), the overall accuracy of the LST is approximately 0.1–0.3 K, while the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of the LSEs is less than 0.01. In contrast to the effects of instrument noise, our method is quite insensitive to noises from atmospheric downwelling radiance, and all the RMSEs of our method are approximately zero for both the LSTs and the LSEs. When we used field-measured data to better evaluate our method’s performance, the results showed that the RMSEs of the LSTs and LSEs were approximately 1.1 K and 0.01, respectively. The results from both simulated data and field-measured data demonstrate that our method is promising for decreasing the number of unknowns in the RTE. Furthermore, the proposed method overcomes some known limitations of current algorithms, such as singular values and the loss of continuity in the spectrum of the retrieved LSEs. Full article

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