A simple and effective retrieval of land surface temperature using a new reflectance based Emissivity estimation technique

Y. Nithiyanandam, Janet Elizabeth Nichol

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Emissivity is a significant factor in determining land surface temperature (LST) retrieved from the thermal infrared (TIR) satellite images. A new simplified method (reflectance method) for emissivity correction was developed in this study while estimating emissivity values at a spatial resolution of 30 m from the radiance values of the SWIR image. This in turn enables mapping surface temperatures at a much finer spatial resolution (30 m). Temperatures so estimated are validated against surface temperatures measured in the ground by thermocouple data loggers recorded during satellite overpass time. In this study, surface emissivity values are derived directly from the AST- L1B images. The reflectance method estimates temperature at higher spatial resolution of 30 m when compared to the 90 m spatial resolution of TES and reference channel methods. Temperature determined for the daytime image of 30thNovember 2007 using different emissivity techniques was compared with the temperatures measured on the field using thermocouple data loggers. It is observed that the estimates from the reflectance method are much closer to the field measurements than the TES and reference channel methods. The temperature difference values range from 0.2 to 2.3 °C, 0.15 to 5.6 °C, and 2.6 to 8.6 °C for the reflectance method, normalization method and reference channel method, respectively. The new reflectance emissivity techniques i.e. reflectance method exhibits the least deviation from the field measured temperature values. While considering the accuracy of data logger (1 °C) the reflectance method enables one to map surface temperature precisely than other two methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Event23rd International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences Congress, ISPRS 2016 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 12 Jul 201619 Jul 2016


  • Emissivity
  • Hong Kong
  • Land surface temperature
  • TES
  • Urban Heat Island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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