Modeling the distribution of land surface temperature for Bystrytsia river basin using Landsat 8 data

Keywords: land surface temperature, Landsat, Carpathians, Bystrytsia river basin, land surface emissivity, NDVI


Development of accurate and practicable methods of land surface temperatures (LST) mapping has benefits for a range of scientific and practical applications. The paperconsiders mapping of LST for the Bystrytsia river basin located in Western Ukraine using Landsat 8 imagerywith two thermal infrared bands, which capture emissivity values closely related to land surface temperature (LST).Three multispectral images referring to different seasons (autumn, winter and summer) were used in the study. The method of LST estimation consists of several successive steps. After preprocessing (clipping, masking, and re-projecting), the images were converted from digital numbers to top of atmosphere spectral radiance,and then – to brightness temperature.However, the brightness temperature differs from LST due to emissivity of land surface being different from that of ideal blackbody.The emissivity can vary significantly with vegetation, surface moisture and surface roughness, and can be approximately estimated from land surface reflectivity at red and near-infrared spectral ranges. Estimated values of LST were compared with measurements of Ivano-Frankivsk state weather station, showing rather good compliance for all the three scenes.Obtained estimates of LST show some regularities of its spatial distribution, which also vary significantly from season to season.All the three scenes show conspicuous vertical gradient in LST; summer and autumn scenes are also characterized by significant local variability in LST due to different land cover types (e.g., urban development, forests, different agricultural lands), whereas in winter, differences in LST for mountainous slopes of different aspects appear to be more pronounced. Graphs of LST change with elevation have a parabolic form: sharper decrease of LST is typical for lower elevations, while the vertical LST gradient decreases above 700–1000 m a.s.l.

Author Biographies

I. P. Kovalchuk
National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine
O. S. Mkrtchian
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
A. I. Kovalchuk
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv


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How to Cite
Kovalchuk, I., Mkrtchian, O., & Kovalchuk, A. (2019). Modeling the distribution of land surface temperature for Bystrytsia river basin using Landsat 8 data. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 27(3), 453-465.