THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENTS
Measurements > Land >
Surface temperature (land)


Land surface temperature varies widely with solar radiation. It is of help in interpreting vegetation and its water stress when the range of temperatures between day and night and from clear sky to cloud cover are compared. On a local scale, surface temperature imagery may be used to refine techniques for predicting ground frost and to determine the warming effect of urban areas (urban heat islands) on night-time temperatures. In agriculture, temperature information may be used, together with models, to optimise planting times and provide timely warnings of frost. Measurements of surface temperature patterns may also be used in studies of volcanic and geothermal areas and resource exploration.
Detailed MeasurementDescription*InstrumentsTimeline
Fire temperatureTemperature of the fire occurring within an area - Physical unit: [ K ] - Accuracy unit: [ K ].11 instruments
Land surface temperatureTemperature of the apparent surface of land (bare soil or vegetation) - Physical unit: [ K ] - Accuracy unit: [ K ].51 instruments
PermafrostFraction of an area that is persistently frozen (round the year) - Physical unit: [ % ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].6 instruments
* Description adapted from WMO.
Copyright CEOS | About | Site Search Researched and written by Symbios