Estimating the surface temperature of Lake Malawi using AVHRR and MODIS satellite imagery uri icon


  • Inadequate satellite data made it difficult to assess whether or not the triple window equation previously developed by Wooster et al. [Wooster, M., Patterson, G., Loftie, R., Sear, C.. 2001. Derivation and validation of the seasonal thermal structure of Lake Malawi using multi-satellite AVHRR observations. International journal of Remote Sensing 22(15), 2953-2972] for estimating lake surface temperature using AVHRR was applicable to the entire lake. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Maps of temperature distribution that were generated for the lake from MODIS satellite imagery show that the circulation pattern of Lake Malawi is very complex, with no clear set pattern of temperature distribution over the entire lake. However, the persistence of a cold water zone between Salima and the northern part of Nkhotakota may be indicative of an upwelling region, ideal for the development of fishery industry.
  • This paper discusses the potential offered by both Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery in estimating lake surface temperature. The findings from regression analysis show that MODIS/Terra Land Surface Temperature data (MOD11A1) and Ocean Color MODIS/Terra Sea Surface Temperature (SST)-SeaDAS data are closely related to in situ data as evidenced by a relatively high correlation coefficient (r(2) values of 0.7 and 0.74, respectively). In the light of the above, the developed algorithm may be used for estimating lake surface temperature over Lake Malawi from MODIS satellite imagery.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009