Retrieval of Global Land Surface Emissivity Maps from AMSR-E Passive Microwave Data Using Different Skin Temperature Data

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Hamidreza Norouzi, NOAA-CREST, New York, NY; and M. Temimi and R. Khanbilvardi

Land emissivity is also a key indicator of land surface and subsurface properties. The objective of this study, supported by NOAA-NESDIS, is to develop global land emissivity maps using AMSR-E passive microwave measurements along with several ancillary data. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) database has been used to obtain several inputs for the proposed approach such as land surface temperature, cloud mask and atmosphere profile. The Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM) has been used to estimate upwelling and downwelling atmospheric contributions. Although it is well known that correction of the atmospheric effect on brightness temperature is required at higher frequencies (over 19 GHz), our preliminary results have shown that a correction at 10.7 GHz is also necessary over specific areas.

The proposed approach is based on three main steps. First, all necessary data have been collected and processed. Second, a global cloud free composite of AMSR-E data and corresponding ancillary images is created. Finally, monthly composting of emissivity maps has been performed. AMSR-E frequencies at 6.9, 10.7, 18.7, 36.5 and 89.0 GHz have been used to retrieve the emissivity. Water vapor information obtained from ISCCP (TOVS data) was used to calculate upwelling, downwelling temperatures and atmospheric transmission in order to assess the consistency of those derived from the CRTM model. The frequent land surface temperature (LST) determination (8 times a day) in the ISCCP database has allowed us to assess the diurnal cycle effect on emissivity retrieval. Differences in magnitude and phase between thermal temperature and low frequencies microwave brightness temperature have been noticed. These differences seem to vary in space and time. They also depend on soil texture and thermal inertia. The proposed methodology accounts for these factors and resultant differences in phase and magnitude between LST and microwave brightness temperature. Additional factors such as topography and vegetation cover are under investigation. In addition, the potential of extrapolating the obtained land emissivity maps to different window and sounding channels has been also investigated in this study. The extrapolation of obtained emissivities to different incident angles is also under investigation.

Land emissivity maps have been developed at different AMSR-E frequencies. Obtained product has been validated and compared to global land use distribution. Moreover, global soil moisture AMSR-E product maps have been also used to assess to the spatial distribution of the emissivity. Moreover, obtained emissivity maps seem to be consistent with landuse/land cover maps. They also agree well with land emissivity maps obtained from the ISCCP database and developed using SSM/I observations (for frequencies over 19 GHz).