Downscaling Meteosat Land Surface Temperature over a Heterogeneous Landscape Using a Data Assimilation Approach

Mechri R, Ottlé C, Pannekoucke O, Kallel A, Maignan F, Courault D, Trigo IF
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(7), 586;

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A wide range of environmental applications require the monitoring of land surface temperature (LST) at frequent intervals and fine spatial resolutions, but these conditions are not offered nowadays by the available space sensors. To overcome these shortcomings, LST downscaling methods have been developed to derive higher resolution LST from the available satellite data. This research concerns the application of a data assimilation (DA) downscaling approach, the genetic particle smoother (GPS), to disaggregate Meteosat 8 LST time series (3 km × 5 km) at finer spatial resolutions. The methodology was applied over the Crau-Camargue region in Southeastern France for seven months in 2009. The evaluation of the downscaled LSTs has been performed at a moderate resolution using a set of coincident clear-sky MODIS LST images from Aqua and Terra platforms (1 km × 1 km) and at a higher resolution using Landsat 7 data (60 m × 60 m). The performance of the downscaling has been assessed in terms of reduction of the biases and the root mean square errors (RMSE) compared to prior model-simulated LSTs. The results showed that GPS allows downscaling the Meteosat LST product from 3 × 5 km2 to 1 × 1 km2 scales with a RMSE less than 2.7 K. Finer scale downscaling at Landsat 7 resolution showed larger errors (RMSE around 5 K) explained by land cover errors and inter-calibration issues between sensors. Further methodology improvements are finally suggested.