Thermal inertia is a geophysical quantity used to characterize geological features. Apparent thermal inertia (ATI) is an alternative quantity that can be derived from remotely sensed data. Calculation of the conventional ATI requires acquisition of a pair of daytime and night-time images taken within a short time interval, which can often be difficult to fulfil by satellite remote sensing due to orbit constraints. In this study, we proposed long-term ATI (LATI) as a new alternative ATI, taking advantage of the large ASTER data archive.

Using the Cuprite area in Nevada, USA as a test site, ATI was calculated using an ASTER data pair that was obtained within 2 days. LATI was also calculated using a much more separated ASTER data pair: daytime on 5 August 2000 and night-time on 12 January 2012. These dates were chosen to represent the maximum and minimum yearly surface temperatures. There was a strong positive correlation between ATI and LATI. We can conclude that LATI is useful and superior to conventional ATI because the maximum and minimum land-surface temperatures tend to converge on certain values and can be used to characterize surface geological features with minimal effects from temporal atmospheric and environmental conditions.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Remote sensing for site investigations on Earth and other planets collection available at:

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