The first evaluation of the FY-3D/MERSI-2 sensor’s thermal infrared capabilities for deriving land surface temperature in volcanic regions: a case study of Mount Etna

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Abstract

In November 2017, the China Meteorological Administration launched a new polar orbiting satellite in its Fengyun (FY) series: FY-3D. With its main purpose being the collection of meteorological data, FY-3D featured a comprehensive payload that is equally exploitable by various Earth Science disciplines. One of its sensors, the MEdium Resolution Spectral Imager-2 (MERSI-2), provides visible and infrared imagery at spatial resolutions of 250 – 1000 m. These characteristics make MERSI-2 suitable for volcanological remote sensing and make it comparable to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors which themselves, have been widely used in volcanological applications. This paper evaluates the first clear and near-coincident MODIS – MERSI-2 images of Mount Etna (Italy) during an active volcanic phase in 2019 and in turn, provides the first assessment of MERSI-2’s utility in observing volcanic activity in the Thermal InfraRed (TIR). To ensure the comparability of both scenes, data from each were converted to Land Surface Temperature (LST) and comparisons were encouraging, with an r2 of 0.92, a mean temperature discrepancy of 0.26 K and a root mean squared error of 0.75 K. Having ascertained comparability, we focussed on the absolute temperatures detected at the eruption site, with the highest being 317.3 K and 328.1 K for MODIS and MERSI-2, respectively. The 20 minute gap between the acquisitions is the most likely the cause of this temperature discrepancy, suggesting variations in lava effusion rates and activity were occurring at Mount Etna over such timescales. This study confirms the applicability of MERSI-2 for observing volcanic activity and emphasises the significance of TIR volcanic monitoring and the importance that additional spaceborne platforms might have in reducing temporal gaps between image acquisitions. Given its unique characteristics, future studies should investigate the applicability of MERSI-2 in more varied volcanic settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberTRES 2068360
Pages (from-to)2777-2792
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords

  • Thermal Infrared
  • Volcanoes
  • MODIS
  • FY-3D
  • Etna

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