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Land surface temperature variation in relation to vegetation type using MODIS satellite data in Gujarat state of India

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The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) has provided an improved capability for moderate resolution land surface monitoring and for studying surface temperature variations. Surface temperature is a key variable in the surface energy balance. To investigate the temporal variation of surface temperature in relation to different vegetation types, MODIS data from 2000-04 were used, especially in the reproductive phase of crops (September-October). The vegetation types used for this study were agriculture in desert areas, rainfed agriculture, irrigated agriculture, and forest. We found that among the different vegetation types, the desert-based agriculture showed the highest surface temperature followed by rainfed agriculture, irrigated agriculture, and forest. The variation in surface temperature indicates that the climatic variation is mostly determined by the different types of vegetation cover on the Earth's surface rather than rapid climate change attributable to climatic sources. The mean land surface temperature (LST) and air temperature (T a) were plotted for each vegetation type from September to October during 2000 and 2004. Higher temperatures were observed for each vegetation type in 2000 as compared to 2004 and lower total rainfall was observed in 2000. The relationship between MODIS LST and T a measurements from meteorological stations was established and illustrated that years 2000 and 2004 had a distinct climatic variability within the time-frame in the study area. In all test sites, the study found that there was a high correlation (r = 0.80-0.98) between LST and T a.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany 2: Department of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, University of Stuttgart, Germany 3: Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, India 4: Water Resource Department and Management, IIT-Roorkee, India 5: Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Roorkee, India 6: Geoinformatics Centre, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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