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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 620410, 12 pages
Research Article

Validation of ASTER Surface Temperature Data with In Situ Measurements to Evaluate Heat Islands in Complex Urban Areas

Department of Environmental Engineering, Changwon National University, 20 Changwondaehak-ro Uichang-gu Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do 641-773, Republic of Korea

Received 27 August 2013; Accepted 6 December 2013; Published 20 January 2014

Academic Editor: Yuriy Kuleshov

Copyright © 2014 Bonggeun Song and Kyunghun Park. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study compared Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) surface temperature data with in situ measurements to validate the use of ASTER data for studying heat islands in urban settings with complex spatial characteristics. Eight sites in Changwon, Korea, were selected for analyses. Surface temperature data were extracted from the thermal infrared (TIR) band of ASTER on four dates during the summer and fall of 2012, and corresponding in situ measurements of temperature were also collected. Comparisons showed that ASTER derived temperatures were generally 4.27°C lower than temperatures collected by in situ measurements during the daytime, except on cloudy days. However, ASTER temperatures were higher by 2.23–2.69°C on two dates during the nighttime. Temperature differences between a city park and a paved area were insignificant. Differences between ASTER derived temperatures and onsite measurements are caused by a variety of factors including the application of emissivity values that do not consider the complex spatial characteristics of urban areas. Therefore, to improve the accuracy of surface temperatures extracted from infrared satellite imagery, we propose a revised model whereby temperature data is obtained from ASTER and emissivity values for various land covers are extracted based on in situ measurements.