87th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 18 January 2007: 11:15 AM
Determination of the land surface emissivity in the 8-12 micrometer window using ASTER and MODIS data
209 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Thomas Schmugge, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM; and K. Ogawa
The land surface emissivity is often overlooked when considering surface properties that effect the energy balance. However, knowledge of the emissivity in the window region is important for determining the longwave radiation balance and its subsequent effect on surface temperature. The longwave radiation balance is strongly affected by the difference between the temperature of the emitting surface and the sky brightness temperature, this difference will be the greatest in the window region. Outside the window region any changes in the emitted radiation by emissivity variability are mostly compensated for by changes in the reflected sky brightness. The emissivity variability is typically greatest in arid regions where the exposed soil and rock surfaces display the widest range of emissivity. For example the dune regions of the Sahara have emissivities of 0.7 or less in the 8 to 9 micrometer wavelength region due to the quartz sands of the region.

The multispectral thermal infrared data obtained from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) radiometer and MODerate resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) sensors on NASA's Terra satellite have been shown to be of good quality and provide a unique new tool for studying the emissivity of the land surface. ASTER has 5 channels in the 8 to 12 micrometer waveband with 90 m spatial resolution, when the data are combined with the Temperature Emissivity Separation (TES) algorithm the surface emissivity over this wavelength region can be determined. The results have validated with observations over surfaces of known emissivities. MODIS has 3 channels in this waveband with 1km spatial resolution and almost daily global coverage. The MODIS data are composited to 5 km resolution and day night pairs of observations are used to derive the emissivities. These results have been validated using the ASTER emissivities over selected test areas.

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