A Practical Method for Retrieving Land Surface Temperature from AMSR-E Over the Amazon Forest Academic Article uri icon


  • Remote sensing of land surface temperature (LST) using infrared (IR) sensors, such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), is only capable of retrieval under clear-sky conditions. Such LST observations over tropical forests are very limited due to clouds and rainfall, particularly during the wet season and high atmospheric water-vapor content. In comparison, low-frequency microwave radiances are minimally influenced by meteorological conditions. Exploring this advantage, we have developed an algorithm to retrieve LST over the Amazonian forest. The algorithm uses multifrequency polarized microwave brightness temperatures from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). Relationships between polarization ratio and surface emissivity are established for forested and nonforested areas, such that LST can solely be calculated from microwave radiance. Results are presented over three time scales: at each orbit, daily, and monthly. Results are evaluated by comparing with available air-temperature records on daily and monthly intervals. Our findings indicate that the AMSR-E-derived LST agrees well with in situ measurements. Results during the wet season over the tropical forest suggest that the AMSR-E LST is robust under all-weather conditions and shows higher correlation to meteorological data (r = 0.70) than the IR-based LST approaches (r = 0.42). 2007 IEEE.

published proceedings

  • IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing

author list (cited authors)

  • Gao, H., Fu, R., Dickinson, R. E., & Jurez, R.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Gao, Huilin||Fu, Rong||Dickinson, Robert E||Juárez, Robinson I Negrón

publication date

  • January 2008