Modifying an image fusion approach for high spatiotemporal LST retrieval in surface dryness and evapotranspiration estimations

Tri Wandi Januar, Tang Huang Lin, Chih Yuan Huang, Kuo En Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Thermal infrared (TIR) satellite images are generally employed to retrieve land surface temperature (LST) data in remote sensing. LST data have been widely used in evapotranspiration (ET) estimation based on satellite observations over broad regions, as well as the surface dryness associated with vegetation index. Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) can provide LST data with a 30-m spatial resolution. However, rapid changes in environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, and soil moisture, will affect the dynamics of ET. Therefore, ET estimation needs a high temporal resolution as well as a high spatial resolution for daily, diurnal, or even hourly analysis. A challenge with satellite observations is that higher-spatial-resolution sensors have a lower temporal resolution, and vice versa. Previous studies solved this limitation by developing a spatial and temporal adaptive reflectance fusion model (STARFM) for visible images. In this study, with the primary mechanism (thermal emission) of TIRS, surface emissivity is used in the proposed spatial and temporal adaptive emissivity fusion model (STAEFM) as a modification of the original STARFM for fusing TIR images instead of reflectance. For high a temporal resolution, the advanced Himawari imager (AHI) onboard the Himawari-8 satellite is explored. Thus, Landsat-like TIR images with a 10-minute temporal resolution can be synthesized by fusing TIR images of Himawari-8 AHI and Landsat-8 TIRS. The performance of the STAEFM to retrieve LST was compared with the STARFM and enhanced STARFM (ESTARFM) based on the similarity to the observed Landsat image and differences with air temperature. The peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) value of the STAEFM image is more than 42 dB, while the values for STARFM and ESTARFM images are around 31 and 38 dB, respectively. The differences of LST and air temperature data collected from five meteorological stations are 1.53 °C to 4.93 °C, which are smaller compared with STARFM's and ESATRFM's. The examination of the case study showed reasonable results of hourly LST, dryness index, and ET retrieval, indicating significant potential for the proposed STAEFM to provide very-high-spatiotemporal-resolution (30 m every 10 min) TIR images for surface dryness and ET monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number498
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • High spatiotemporal retrieval
  • LST
  • Landsat-8 OLI and Himawari-8 AHI
  • Surface dryness and evapotranspiration
  • TIR image fusion
  • Thermal emission


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