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Observing air quality over the city of Nantes by means of Landsat thermal infrared data

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This article investigates the potentials of satellite-made observations for the mapping of air quality parameters. Ground measurements of black particulates, sulphur dioxide and other pollutants have been measured in the city of Nantes and are compared with coincident Landsat TM6 data. It is found that the amount in black particulates is highly correlated to the apparent temperature observed by satellite. Some of the possible mechanisms for this correlation are investigated. The influence of the pixel size on this correlation is discussed in view of previous studies. Preliminary explanations are given. The mapping of the spatial distribution of the black particulates is possible from remotely sensed data. It is not very accurate and possible improvements are discussed. Finally, it is shown that pollution level should be taken into account in any use of satellite data for urban area classification purposes.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 20, 1999

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