Accuracy assessment for Landsat 8 thermal bands in measuring sea surface temperature over Kuwait and North West Arabian Gulf




Kuwait, Arabian Gulf, Remote Sensing, Sea Surface Temperature, Physical Oceanography


Studying the marine environment is one of the important fields of remote sensing applications. Previously, the thermal mapping of seas and oceans relied on primitive methods, such as the use of sensors installed on buoys, extracting contour lines and deriving the values from the confluence of contour lines. Today's remote sensing provides more advanced methods for extracting SST values for all bodies of water as a continued raster model, through thermal sensors installed on satellites designated to monitor and observe the Earth.. The Landsat program has facilitated a quantum leap by providing its data for free. What has become increasingly important is the inclusion in Landsat 8 of a thermal band on TIRS sensor through which SST can be extracted with a spatial resolution of 100 m2. In this article, the accuracy of the two thermal bands of Landsat 8 was validated in monitoring the SST of Kuwaiti and Northwest Arabian Gulf waters, through the use of 62 thermal images and 66 ground control points (GCPs) taken in the period from July 2013 to March 2020 using buoys and field data. This was through a function provided by the ENVI 5.3 software - “brightness temperature” - to derive the surface temperature. The accuracy of Landsat 8 to monitor the SST of Kuwait and north-west Arabian Gulf waters was validated by calculating the root mean square error (RMSE) and the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE). The accuracy of the thermal band 10 was ± 2.03 degrees (7.9%), while the accuracy of the thermal band 11 was ± 3.13 degrees (13.7%). Therefore, this study demonstrated that the thermal band 10 of Landsat 8 is more accurate than the thermal band 11 in monitoring the SST of Kuwaiti and north-west Arabian Gulf waters, with a difference of ± 1.1 degrees (5.8%).

Author Biography

Jasem A Albanai, Environmental Public Authority


Marine monitoring sectionWater quality monitoring departmentEnvironmental Public AuthorityKuwait


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