EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Evaluating the potential of MODIS-LST for monitoring ground surface temperatures in the Maritime Antarctic (Barton Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctic). 

Alejandro Corbea-Pérez1, Gonçalo Vieira2, Carmen Recondo1, Joana Baptista2, Javier F.Calleja3, and Hyoungseok Lee4
Alejandro Corbea-Pérez et al.
  • 1Department of Mining Exploitation and Prospecting, Polytechnic School of Mieres, University of Oviedo, Mieres, Spain (
  • 2Centre for Geographical Studies, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 3Department of Physics, Polytechnic School of Mieres, University of Oviedo, Mieres, Spain
  • 4Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, Republic of Korea

Land surface temperature is an important factor for permafrost modelling as well as for understanding the dynamics of Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems (Bockheim et al. 2008). In the South Shetland Islands the distribution of permafrost is complex (Vieira et al. 2010) and the use of remote sensing data is essential since the installation and maintenance of an extensive network of ground-based stations are impossible. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the applicability of satellites and sensors by comparing data with in-situ observations. In this work, we present the results from the analysis of land surface temperatures from Barton Peninsula, an ice-free area in King George Island (South Shetlands). We have studied the period from March 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Surface Temperature (LST) and in-situ data from 6 ground temperature loggers. MOD11A1 and MYD11A1 products, from TERRA and AQUA satellites, respectively, were used, following the application of MODIS quality filters. Given the scarce number of high-quality data as defined by MODIS, all average LST with error ≤ 2K were included. Dates with surface temperature below -20ºC, which are rare in the study area, and dates when the difference between MODIS and in-situ data exceeded 10ºC were also examined. In both cases, those days on which MOD09GA/MYD09GA products showed cloud cover were eliminated. Eight in-situ ground temperature measurements per day were available, from which the one nearest to the time of satellite overpass was selected for comparison with MODIS-LST. The results obtained show a better correlation with daytime data than with nighttime data. Specifically, the best results are obtained with daytime data from AQUA (R2 between 0.55 and 0.81). With daytime data, correlation between MODIS-LST and in-situ data was verified with relative humidity (RH) values provided by King Sejong weather station, located in the study area. When RH is lower, the correlation between LST and in-situ data improves: we obtained correlation coefficients between 0.6 - 0.7 for TERRA data and 0.8 - 0.9 for AQUA data with RH values lower than 80%. The results suggest that MODIS can be used for temperature estimation in the ice-free areas of the Maritime Antarctic.


Bockheim, J. G., Campbell, I. B., Guglielmin, M., and López- Martınez, J.: Distribution of permafrost types and buried ice in ice free areas of Antarctica, in: 9th International Conference on Permafrost, 28 June–3 July 2008, Proceedings, University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, USA, 2008, 125–130.

Vieira, G.; Bockheim, J.; Guglielmin, M.; Balks, M.; Abramov, A. A.; Boelhouwers, J.; Cannone, N.; Ganzert, L.; Gilichinsky, D. A.; Goryachkin, S.; López-Martínez, J.; Meiklejohn, I.; Raffi, R.; Ramos, M.; Schaefer, C.; Serrano, E.; Simas, F.; Sletten, R.; Wagner, D. Thermal State of Permafrost and Active-layer Monitoring in the Antarctic: Advances During the International Polar Year 2007-2009. Permafr. Periglac. Process. 2010, 21, 182–197.



This work was made possible by an internship at the IGOT, University of Lisbon, Portugal, funded by the Principality of Asturias (code EB20-16).


How to cite: Corbea-Pérez, A., Vieira, G., Recondo, C., Baptista, J., F.Calleja, J., and Lee, H.: Evaluating the potential of MODIS-LST for monitoring ground surface temperatures in the Maritime Antarctic (Barton Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctic). , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10415,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.