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Keywords:

  • thermal sharpening;
  • two-source-model;
  • irrigated vs rainfed agriculture

[1] The utility of a thermal image sharpening algorithm (TsHARP) in providing fine resolution land surface temperature data to a Two-Source-Model for mapping evapotranspiration (ET) was examined over two agricultural regions in the U.S. One site is in a rainfed corn and soybean production region in central Iowa. The other lies within the Texas High Plains, an irrigated agricultural area. It is concluded that in the absence of fine (sub-field scale) resolution thermal data, TsHARP provides an important tool for monitoring ET over rainfed agricultural areas. In contrast, over irrigated regions, TsHARP applied to kilometer-resolution thermal imagery is unable to provide accurate fine resolution land surface temperature due to significant sub-pixel moisture variations that are not captured in the sharpening procedure. Consequently, reliable estimation of ET and crop stress requires thermal imagery acquired at high spatial resolution, resolving the dominant length-scales of moisture variability present within the landscape.