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An Algorithm for Retrieving Land Surface Temperatures Using VIIRS Data in Combination with Multi-Sensors

National Hulunber Grassland Ecosystem Observation and Research Station, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
National Meteorological Information Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2014, 14(11), 21385-21408;
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors, Control, and Telemetry)
PDF [3081 KB, uploaded 12 November 2014]


A practical algorithm was proposed to retrieve land surface temperature (LST) from Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data in mid-latitude regions. The key parameter transmittance is generally computed from water vapor content, while water vapor channel is absent in VIIRS data. In order to overcome this shortcoming, the water vapor content was obtained from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data in this study. The analyses on the estimation errors of vapor content and emissivity indicate that when the water vapor errors are within the range of ±0.5 , the mean retrieval error of the present algorithm is 0.634 K; while the land surface emissivity errors range from −0.005 to +0.005, the mean retrieval error is less than 1.0 K. Validation with the standard atmospheric simulation shows the average LST retrieval error for the twenty-three land types is 0.734 K, with a standard deviation value of 0.575 K. The comparison between the ground station LST data indicates the retrieval mean accuracy is −0.395 K, and the standard deviation value is 1.490 K in the regions with vegetation and water cover. Besides, the retrieval results of the test data have also been compared with the results measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) VIIRS LST products, and the results indicate that 82.63% of the difference values are within the range of −1 to 1 K, and 17.37% of the difference values are within the range of ±2 to ±1 K. In a conclusion, with the advantages of multi-sensors taken fully exploited, more accurate results can be achieved in the retrieval of land surface temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: land surface temperature; retrieval; MODIS; VIIRS land surface temperature; retrieval; MODIS; VIIRS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Xia, L.; Mao, K.; Ma, Y.; Zhao, F.; Jiang, L.; Shen, X.; Qin, Z. An Algorithm for Retrieving Land Surface Temperatures Using VIIRS Data in Combination with Multi-Sensors. Sensors 2014, 14, 21385-21408.

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