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ASTER‐derived emissivity and coal‐fire related surface temperature anomaly: a case study in Wuda, north China

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Subsurface and surface coal fires form serious environmental, economic and safety problems in coal-producing countries like China and India. Remote sensing offers the possibility of detecting and studying thermal anomalies due to coal fires. Emissivity plays an important role in determining the surface temperature of a body using remotely sensed data. In the present study an attempt is made to use satellite-derived emissivity to estimate the surface temperature in Wuda, north China. With the use of multispectral thermal Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data (five bands in 8.125–11.65 µm region) in combination with a Temperature/Emissivity Separation (TES) algorithm, the anomalous pixels due to coal fires can be extracted from the background to achieve a qualitative study of coal fires. In the present study, during night-time overpass of ASTER, satellite images have been recorded and simultaneous field measurements were collected. These field measurements were used to process the satellite thermal data and to validate the results obtained. Using the TES approach, satellite-based temperature corresponded well with actual field measurements at selected locations.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: International Institute for Geo‐Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Hengelosestraat 99, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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