A Scale-Separating Framework for Fusing Satellite Land Surface Temperature Products

Xuhui Lee and 1 other contributor

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    The trade-off between spatial and temporal resolutions of satellite imagery is a long-standing problem in satellite remote sensing applications. The lack of daily land surface temperature (LST) data with fine spatial resolution has hampered the understanding of surface climatic phenomena, such as the urban heat island (UHI). Here, we developed a fusion framework, characterized by a scale-separating process, to generate LST data with high spatiotemporal resolution. The scale-separating framework breaks the fusion task into three steps to address errors at multiple spatial scales, with a specific focus on intra-scene variations of LST. The framework was experimented with MODIS and Landsat LST data. It first removed inter-sensor biases, which depend on season and on land use type (urban versus rural), and then produced a Landsat-like sharpened LST map for days when MOIDS observations are available. The sharpened images achieved a high accuracy, with a RMSE of 0.91 K for a challenging heterogeneous landscape (urban area). A comparison between the sharpened LST and the air temperature measured with bicycle-mounted mobile sensors revealed the roles of impervious surface fraction and wind speed in controlling the surface-to-air temperature gradient in an urban landscape.