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Spatiotemporal and physiographic relationship between MODIS land surface temperature and air temperature over Iran

Masoud Moradi*, Mohammad Darand

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Land cover and topography have a constant influence on land surface temperature (LST). The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a correlation between Moderate Resolution Imagine Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LST and air temperature (AT) at various physiographic conditions. A novel method was developed to determine the match-up time between the LST of the Terra/Aqua overpass and the AT observation at an appropriate distance. Numerous statistical metrics have been used, including the correlation coefficient (R), root mean square differences (RMSD), and relative root mean square differences (RRMSD. The findings indicate that LST and AT have a strong correlation coefficient (0.7–0.9) concerning Iran. Intra-annual changes in R, on the other hand, show higher values during the cold months than during the warmer months. The differences between the LST and AT were lowest at the coasts and highest in the central and northwestern deserts of Iran, according to the spatial distribution of the RRMSD. The RRMSD for MODIS Terra Night LST (LSTTN) was lower than for MODIS Aqua Day LST (LSTAD). Seasonal differences between LST and AT were observed, particularly at higher altitudes and slopes. The most important factors that result in a higher correlation and a smaller difference between LST and AT are surface moisture, vegetation density, and LCD. The LST/AT correlation and difference can also be affected by the daily and intra-annual temperature cycle. The findings can be applied to studies such as estimating AT from LST in deserts and high elevations.