Summary Results from:

New refinements and validation of the MODIS land-surface temperature/emissivity products
As they relate to the validation of MOD11

Authors: Z. Wan

Source: Remote Sens. Environ., 112 (2008), 59-74

Link to: Access Publication


This paper discusses the lessons learned from analysis of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land-Surface Temperature/Emissivity (LST) products in the current (V4) and previous versions, and presents eight new refinements for V5 product generation executive code (PGE16) and the test results with real Terra and Aqua MODIS data. The major refinements include considering surface elevation when using the MODIS cloudmask product, removal of temporal averaging in the 1 km daily level-3 LST product, removal of cloud-contaminated LSTs in level-3 LST products, and the refinements for the day/night LST algorithm. These refinements significantly improved the spatial coverage of LSTs, especially in highland regions, and the accuracy and stability of the MODIS LST products. Comparisons between V5 LSTs and in-situ values in 47 clear-sky cases (in the LST range from -10 °C to 58 °C and atmospheric column water vapor range from 0.4 to 3.5 cm) indicate that the accuracy of the MODIS LST product is better than 1 K in most cases (39 out of 47) and the root of mean squares of differences is less than 0.7 K for all 47 cases or 0.5 K for all but the 8 cases apparently with heavy aerosol loadings. Emissivities retrieved by the day/night algorithm are well compared to the surface emissivity spectra measured by a sun-shadow method in two field campaigns. The time series of V5 MODIS LST product over two sites (Lake Tahoe in California and Namco lake in Tibet) in 2003 are evaluated, showing that the quantity and quality of MODIS LST products depend on clear-sky conditions because of the inherent limitation of the thermal infrared remote sensing.