Thermal Land Surface Emissivity retrieved from SEVIRI/Meteosat

Trigo I.F., Peres L. F., DaCamara C. C., Freitas S.C.
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 46, 2, 307-315, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2007.905197

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The methodologies used by the Satellite Application Facility on Land Surface Analysis (Land SAF) for retrieving emissivity are presented here. In the first approach, i.e., the vegetation cover method (VCM), the land surface emissivity (EM) is computed for Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) infrared channels and for the 3- to 14-?m range using information on the pixel fraction of vegetation cover (FVC). The VCM uses a lookup table, which takes into account the channelís spectral response function, and laboratory reflectance spectra for different materials. The accuracy of the VCM depends on the reliability of FVC and the land cover classification. The EM for SEVIRI split-window channels is primarily used as an internal product by Land SAF for land surface temperature (LST) estimations. However, sensitivity studies show that LST often fails to meet the required accuracy of 2 K over desert and semiarid regions, where the VCM is unable to model the EM spatial variability, which is mostly associated with soil composition. Moreover, it is also over such areas where the atmosphere is generally dry that the impact of EM uncertainties on LST is largest. A second approach to determine the EM for SEVIRI split-window channels is currently being tested. This methodology allows the simultaneous retrieval of LST and channel EMs with the assumption that the latter remain constant. The channel EMs are then averaged over a 22-day period to filter out the noise in the retrievals. A first analysis of the maps obtained for an area within Northern Africa shows spatial patterns with features also present in the surface albedo.