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Accuracy assessment of land surface temperature retrievals from MSG2-SEVIRI data

Niclòs, Raquel, Galve, Joan M., Valiente, Jose A., Estrela, Maria J., Coll, César
Remote sensing of environment 2011 v.115 no.8 pp. 2126-2140
air temperature, algorithms, equations, lakes, models, normal values, paddies, radiative transfer, remote sensing, shrublands, surface temperature, uncertainty, water temperature, water vapor, Spain
The accuracy of the Land Surface Temperature (LST) product generated operationally by the EUMETSAT Land Surface Analysis Satellite Applications Facility (LSA SAF) from the data registered by the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) on board the geostationary METEOSAT Second Generation 2 (MSG2, Meteosat 9) satellite was assessed on two test sites in Eastern Spain: a homogeneous, fully vegetated rice field and a high-plain, homogeneous area of shrubland. The LSA SAF LSTs were compared with ground LST measurements in the conventional temperature-based (T-based) method. We also validated the LSA SAF LST product by using an alternative radiance-based (R-based) method, with ground LSTs calculated from MSG-SEVIRI channel 9 brightness temperatures (at 10.8μm) through radiative transfer simulations using atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles together with surface emissivity data. Two lakes were also used for validation with the R-based method. Although the LSA SAF LST algorithm works mostly within the uncertainty expectation of ±2K, both validation methods showed significant biases for the LSA SAF LST product, up to 1.5K in some cases. These biases, with the LSA SAF LST product overestimating reference values, were also observed in previous studies. Nevertheless, the present work points out that the biases are related to the land surface emissivities used in the operational generation of the product. The use of more appropriate emissivity values for the test sites in the LSA SAF LST algorithm led to better results by decreasing the biases by 0.7K for the shrubland validation site. Furthermore, we proposed and checked an alternative algorithm: a quadratic split-window equation, based on a physical split-window model that has been widely proved for other sensors, with angular-dependent coefficients suitable for the MSG coverage area. The T-based validation results for this algorithm showed LST uncertainties (robust root-mean-squared-errors) from 0.2K to 0.5K lower than for the LSA SAF LST algorithm after the emissivity replacement. Nevertheless, the proposed algorithm accuracies were significantly better than those obtained for the current LSA SAF LST product, with an average accuracy difference of 0.6K.