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Topographic correction algorithm for remotely sensed data accounting for indirect irradiance

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The solar irradiance incidents upon terrain surface are composed of three parts, i.e. direct solar irradiance, diffuse sky irradiance and reflected irradiance from the adjacent surface, respectively. Most of the topographic correction models only account for the topographic effect induced from direct solar irradiance, and few models take the topographic effects from the last two components of solar irradiance into account. A physically based topographic correction algorithm aiming to overcome this shortcoming, called a three-factor correction model, was developed based on theoretical analysis of radiation transferring processes along an undulating surface, atmosphere and satellite sensor geometry under the assumption of Lambertian surface. On the basis of this three-factor correction model, an advanced algorithm accounting for the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) nature of non-Lambertian surface, called the three-factor+C topographic correction model, was developed by introducing an empirical parameter C to approximate the indirect irradiance contribution of non-Lambertian surface. Performances of these two newly developed algorithms were tested and compared with those of Cosine and C correction algorithms for a selected rugged terrain on the south flank of the Qinling Mountain, China. Visual comparison and statistical analysis were adopted for quantitative evaluation on topographic corrections of a Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) image in the study. The results suggested that the general performance of the algorithms for topographic correction ranks the three-factor+C correction, C correction, three-factor correction and Cosine correction from excellent to poor in order, which implies the promising potential of the proposed algorithms in effective topographic correction applications in remote sensing techniques.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Hydro-sciences Research, Nanjing University, Nanjing, PRC 2: Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, PRC,International Institute for Earth System Science (ESSI), Nanjing University, Nanjing, PRC

Publication date: 01 April 2011

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