• Shaohua Zhao

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Comparison of two split-window methods for retrieving land surface temperature from MODIS data

      Shaohua Zhao Qiming Qin Yonghui Yang Yujiu Xiong Guoyu Qiu

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      Land surface temperature (LST) is a key parameter in environment and earth science study, especially for monitoring drought. The objective of this work is a comparison of two split-window methods: Mao method and Sobrino method, for retrieving LST using MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data in North China Plain. The results show that the max, min and mean errors of Mao method are 1.33K, 1.54K and 0.13K lower than the standard LST product respectively; while those of Sobrino method are 0.73K, 1.46K and 1.50K higher than the standard respectively. Validation of the two methods using LST product based on weather stations shows a good agreement between the standard and Sobrino method, with RMSE of 1.17K, whereas RMSE of Mao method is 1.85K. Finally, the study introduces the Sobmao method, which is based on Sobrino method but simplifies the estimation of atmospheric water vapour content using Mao method. The Sobmao method has almost the same accuracy with Sobrino method. With high accuracy and simplification of water vapour content estimation, the Sobmao method is recommendable in LST inversion for good application in Ningxia region, the northwest China, with mean error of 0.33K and the RMSE value of 0.91K.

    • Dynamic monitoring of landscape patterns and ecological processes using HJ-1 and SPOT satellite data over Hulunbeier grassland, China

      Feng Zhang Ying Li Sihan Liu Shaohua Zhao Yanting Wu

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      Landscape patterns and ecological processes have been in long-term research focus in the field of landscape ecology, but how to measure their quantitative relations is still open. This work chooses the Hulunbeier grassland as the study area where ecosystem shows high vulnerability, frequent evolvement of landscape patterns and ecological processes. With remote sensing technology, the relationships between landscape patterns and ecological processes were analyzed quantitatively from multi-scale, multitemporal and time series perspective. Firstly, the information about the current situation and change of landscape patterns and ecological processes are obtained from HJ-1 (Environmental and Disaster Small Satellite) and LANDSAT TM (Thermal Mapper) data. Secondly, SPOT NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) data during 2000–2008 are used to analyze the dynamic changes of ecological processes, and to simulate its inter-annual variety at pixel scale. Finally, the dynamic change trends of ecological processes of grassland vegetation are described. The results indicate that the unchanged ecosystem types account for most of the study area, unused land in the central part expands continuously which results in the increase of desertification, and most ecosystem types in the eastern part are changed to grassland and woodland. Furthermore, the vegetation vulnerability is the highest in the grassland-dominated region, the second in grassland–farmland–woodland transition, and the smallest in the woodland-dominated region, where the stability is enhanced in turn. Due to the dynamic change of vegetation, it can be concluded that the study area underwent ecological processes of vegetation cover with a negative trend and a changed phenology.

    • Satellite evidence for no change in terrestrial latent heat flux in the Three-River Headwaters region of China over the past three decades

      Yunjun Yao Shaohua Zhao Huawei Wan Yuhu Zhang Bo Jiang Kun Jia Meng Liu Jinhui Wu

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      Terrestrial latent heat flux (LE) in the Three-River Headwaters region (TRHR) of China plays an essential role in quantifying the amount of water evaporation and carbon sink over the high altitude Tibetan Plateau (TP). Global warming is expected to accelerate terrestrial hydrological cycle and to increase evaporation. However, direct field observations are lacking in this region and the long-term variability in LE remains uncertain. In this study, we have revised a semi-empirical Penman LE algorithm based on ground eddy covariance (EC) observations from an alpine grass site and provided new satellite-based evidence to assess LE change in the TRHR during 1982–2010. Our results show that the average annual terrestrial LE in the TRHR is about 38.8 W/m$^2$ and there is no statistically significant changein annual LE from 1982 to 2010. We also found that during the same time period, terrestrial LE over the east region of the TRHR significantly decreased, on average, by 0.7 W/m$^2$ per decade, which was driven primarily by the surface incident solar radiation (Rs) limitation, offsetting the increased LE over the west region of the TRHR caused by the increased precipitation (P) and soil moisture (SM).

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