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Spatially Consistent High-Resolution Land Surface Temperature Mosaics for Thermophysical Mapping of the Mojave Desert
AuthorNowicki, Scott A.
Inman, Richard D.
Esque, Todd C.
Nussear, Kenneth E.
Edwards, Christopher S.
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Daytime and nighttime thermal infrared observations acquired by the ASTER and MODIS instruments onboard the NASA Terra spacecraft have produced a dataset that can be used to map thermophysical properties across large regions, which have implications on surface processes, thermal environments and habitat suitability for desert species. ASTER scenes acquired between 2004 and 2012 are combined using new mosaicking and data-fusion techniques to produce a map of daytime and nighttime land surface temperature with coverage exclusive of the effects of clouds and weather. These data are combined with Landsat 7 visible imagery to generate a consistent map of apparent thermal inertia (ATI), which is related to the presence of exposed bedrock, rocks, fine-grained sediments and water on the surface. The resulting datasets are compared to known geomorphic units and surface types to generate an interpreted mechanical composition map of the entire Mojave Desert at 100 m per pixel that is most sensitive to large clast size distinctions in grain size distribution.