Revision of the single-channel algorithm for land surface temperature retrieval from landsat thermal-infrared data

Juan C. Jimenez-Munoz, Jordi Cristobal, José A. Sobrino, Guillem Sòria, Miquel Ninyerola, Xavier Pons

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396 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a revision, an update, and an extension of the generalized single-channel (SC) algorithm developed by Jimnez-Muoz and Sobrino (2003), which was particularized to the thermal-infrared (TIR) channel (band 6) located in the Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor. The SC algorithm relies on the concept of atmospheric functions (AFs) which are dependent on atmospheric transmissivity and upwelling and downwelling atmospheric radiances. These AFs are fitted versus the atmospheric water vapor content for operational purposes. In this paper, we present updated fits using MODTRAN 4 radiative transfer code, and we also extend the application of the SC algorithm to the TIR channel of the TM sensor onboard the Landsat-4 platform and the enhanced TM plus sensor onboard the Landsat-7 platform. Five different atmospheric sounding databases have been considered to create simulated data used for retrieving AFs and to test the algorithm. The test from independent simulated data provided root mean square error (rmse) values below 1 K in most cases when atmospheric water vapor content is lower than 2 -2. For values higher than 3 $ {-2}$, errors are not acceptable, as what occurs with other SC algorithms. Results were also tested using a land surface temperature map obtained from one Landsat-5 image acquired over an agricultural area using inversion of the radiative transfer equation and the atmospheric profile measured in situ at the sensor overpass time. The comparison with this ground-truth map provided an rmse of 1.5 K. © 2006 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4689350
Pages (from-to)339-349
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Land surface temperature (LST)
  • Landsat
  • Single-channel (SC)
  • Thermal-infrared (TIR)


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