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ESTARFM, ASTER, MODIS, land surface temperature, evaluation

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Land surface temperature (LST) is an important parameter that is highly responsive to surface energy fluxes and has become valuable to many disciplines. However, it is difficult to acquire satellite LSTs with both high spatial and temporal resolutions due to tradeoffs between them. Thus, various algorithms/models have been developed to enhance the spatial or the temporal resolution of thermal infrared (TIR) data or LST, but rarely both. The Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) is the widely-used data fusion algorithm for Landsat and MODIS imagery to produce Landsat-like surface reflectance. In order to extend the STARFM application over heterogeneous areas, an enhanced STARFM (ESTARFM) approach was proposed by introducing a conversion coefficient and the spectral unmixing theory. The aim of this study is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the ESTARFM algorithm for generating ASTER-like daily LST by three approaches: simulated data, ground measurements and remote sensing products, respectively. The datasets of LST ground measurements, MODIS, and ASTER images were collected in an arid region of Northwest China during the first thematic HiWATER-Multi-Scale Observation Experiment on Evapotranspiration (MUSOEXE) over heterogeneous land surfaces in 2012 from May to September. Firstly, the results of the simulation test indicated that ESTARFM could accurately predict background with temperature variations, even coordinating with small ground objects and linear ground objects. Secondly, four temporal ASTER and MODIS data fusion LSTs (i.e., predicted ASTER-like LST products) were highly consistent with ASTER LST products. Here, the four correlation coefficients were greater than 0.92, root mean square error (RMSE) reached about 2 K and mean absolute error (MAE) ranged from 1.32 K to 1.73 K. Finally, the results of the ground measurement validation indicated that the overall accuracy was high (R2 = 0.92, RMSE = 0.77 K), and the ESTARFM algorithm is a highly recommended method to assemble time series images at ASTER spatial resolution and MODIS temporal resolution due to LST estimation error less than 1 K. However, the ESTARFM method is also limited in predicting LST changes that have not been recorded in MODIS and/or ASTER pixels.

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Remote Sensing, v. 8, issue 1, art. 75