Improved Surface Reflectance from Remote Sensing Data with Sub-Pixel Topographic Information

L.F.S. Roupioz, F. Nerry, L. Jia, M. Menenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Several methods currently exist to efficiently correct topographic effects on the radiance measured by satellites. Most of those methods use topographic information and satellite data at the same spatial resolution. In this study, the 30 m spatial resolution data of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) are used to account for those topographic effects when retrieving land surface reflectance from satellite data at lower spatial resolution (e.g., 1 km). The methodology integrates the effects of sub-pixel topography on the estimation of the total irradiance received at the surface considering direct, diffuse and terrain irradiance. The corrected total irradiance is then used to compute the topographically corrected surface reflectance. The proposed method has been developed to be applied on various kilometric pixel size satellite data. In this study, it was tested and validated with synthetic Landsat data aggregated at 1 km. The results obtained after a sub-pixel topographic correction are compared with the ones obtained after a pixel level topographic correction and show that in rough terrain, the sub-pixel topography correction method provides better results even if it tends to slightly overestimate the retrieved land surface reflectance in some cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10356-10374
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • landsat-tm data
  • satellite imagery
  • rugged terrain
  • atmospheric correction
  • spatial-resolution
  • illumination
  • products
  • albedo
  • china
  • model


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