MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, Vol. 1, No.

3, October 2009


Monitoring of Total Suspended Solids and Sea Surface Temperature using NOAA AVHRR Data in Malaysia
H. S. Lim1, M. Z. MatJafri1, K. Abdullah1, K. C. Tan1, F. Tan1, N. Mohd. Saleh1, Z. Yasin2 and A. L. Abdullah3

Abstract—Water pollution exists since long time ago and is coeval with the appearance of humans. It becomes one of the major menaces in human pollution. Furthermore, the problem worsens with the increasing of time, whether in developed or developing countries. The main contribution for water pollution problem is caused by the sediment. There are few methods to detect water pollution. Usually, this can be done through measurement by using ground instruments, such as turbidity meters for water measurements. In this study, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration MultiChannel Sea Surface Temperature (SST) (NOAA MCSST) algorithm was used to determine the sea surface temperature (SST) at South China Sea by suing NOAA-AVHRR data. This study included remote sensing of total suspended solids (TSS) on the surface of water. In AVHRR radiometric correction and calibration, the DN values were converted into radiance and reflectance values. The reflectance values acquired from the ground truth sample locations were extracted from all the images. In order to minimize the atmospheric effects within multi-temporal data, the correction was performed between the scenes. The results revealed that the data set produced higher correlation coefficient and lower RMS value for window size of 3 by 3, in terms of reflectance values. Therefore, it was used in this study. Finally, an automatic geocoding technique from PCI Geomatica 9.1.8 - AVHRR Automated Geometric Correction was applied in this study to geocode the SST and TSS maps.

1. INTRODUCTION Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is well-known as an effective sensor to capture image and have been widely use in oceanographic applications such as sea surface temperature (SST) studies, water quality mapping and other oceanic phenomena. In addition, AVHRR provides useful data for monitoring oceanic phenomena due to its high repetitive coverage.

Since a long time ago, sea surface temperature and water quality measurements have been carried out by using conventional shipboard since this technique produces accurate readings. However, this technique involved a huge expense and it is very time-consuming. Thus, an alternative reliable method can be chosen through satellite measurements. For example, accurate retrieval of SST and total suspended solids (TSS) using AVHRR data can easily be computed using the established algorithm. Usually, SST algorithms were determined by two basic techniques: i) theoretical atmospheric transmittance model with a set of representative vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and absorbing constituents, and ii) regression analysis between coincident measurements of brightness temperatures and the satellite brightness temperatures [1]. Many studies have been focusing on SST algorithms and various algorithms for performing this task have been developed, such as multichannel and multi-angle method, and the single infrared channel. Recently, NOAA has developed the multichannel sea surface temperature (MCSST) algorithm for AVHRR data. Implementation of regression techniquewill lead to difficulty since it requires a lot of coincident in-situ data with the remotely sensed data. In addition, the desired data are not easily acquired in equatorial region due to the obstacle from cloud cover in the study area. Thus in this study, the NOAA developed multichannel sea surface temperature (MCSST) algorithm was used to measure SST using NOAA-AVHRR satellite data. 2. STUDY AREA The study area is located is the South China Sea which covers Peninsular Malaysia and South East Asia. It is one of the world’s largest seas. This area is chosen due to the fluctuations in SST. There are strong relationships between fluctuations in SST and rainfall variability in the equatorial Pacific. The data was acquired from image with level 1B scene of AVHRR sensor from NOAA satellite. Data selection was made based on availability of cloud-free pixels. The images were captured daytime on 29/06/2004, 30/06/2004, 03/07/2004, 04/07/2004, 05/07/2004, 08/07/2004, 13/07/2004 and 16/7/2004. In this study,

School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. +604-6533888, Fax: +604-6579150,,,, 2 School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia,11800, Penang, Malaysia.+604-6533888, Fax: +604-6579150, 3 School of Humanities,Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden 11800, Penang, Malaysia.+604-6533888, Fax: +604-6579150,

2 TSS Model For water quality studies. This test is applicable for both day and night scenes. Cloud at channel 5 tends to have greater optical thickness as compared with other channel and it is suitable to be used for cloud masking. 5) containing clouds and cloud free water pixels (channels 4 and 5) were extracted for a detailed study using each technique mentioned above. This technique is applicable to detect most types of clouds except for uniform low cloud. or inland water bodies can be used as rough indicators if necessary. The combination of cloud masks were finally obtained after the data have been filtered through a series of cloud masking techniques described earlier. water vapor. (a) the infrared threshold test or gross cloud check. 2. few cloud masking techniques should be applied to successfully determine the SST in the study area. 4. in ° C for every single pixel in an image. Mostly of the retrieval algorithms for the SST computation using AVHRR are mainly based on the MCSST algorithm [4]. 3. October 2009 396 NOAA AVHRR 17 data were used to retrieve SST [2]. 4 and 5. small sub-scenes ( channels 1. For example. A3 and A4 are algorithm coefficient. the differences are less (often < 1K) and fluctuate with total column water content and satellite zenith angle. A2. In this study. With the aid of three AVHRR thermal bands (channels 3.T5)+A4(T4 . cloud. Dual-window uses bands 3 and 4. All of these algorithms differ with the bands. The thresholds need to be generated from the histogram of the brightness temperature generated image. 4. Application of remote sensing data for oceanographic studies such as sea surface temperature measurements normally depends on the accuracy of the cloud masking techniques used to eliminate cloudcontaminated pixels. SST was computed in this study. However. an instrument included with three infrared (IR) channels [3]. included the land and water area. Vol. In this study. Day MCSST Split algorithm was used to retrieve SST from NOAA AVHRR. one for daytime data and three for nighttime data: Day MCSST Split.MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. two cloud masking techniques were implemented. this test is effective in detecting thin cirrus cloud and the edges of thicker cloud. 4. Therefore. 3. especially in the equatorial region. However. reflected sky and the presence of other gases will cause the error in satellite measurements in SST. Temperature values for land.2 The channel difference where A1. and (b) the channel difference. CLOUD MASKING TECHNIQUES The atmospheric effects such as cloud cover. Four algorithms are available. for clear sky radiances. over the cloud the brightness temperature differences are higher than over the clear sea water.1 The infrared threshold test or gross cloud check This technique uses 12 µm (channel 5) brightness temperatures test. Pixels in satellite data defined as cloudy if the calculated temperature is less than a pre-defined threshold value. This method cannot used to detect a warm low cloud above the sea. For each image data. Night MCSST Split. Usually. 17 satellites are based on values provided in the NOAA KLM User’s Guide. 3. and Night MCSST Triple. SST module used to calculate the temperature. ALGORITHM MODEL 4. and 5) and the AVHRR sensor calibration information. which are utilized for the atmospheric correction. which can be written as: SST=A 1+A2T4 +A3(T4 . 4. but in general should be ignored. Normally. the errors were dominated by the cloud contaminated pixels of SST satellite data. Besides that. Hence. Split-window uses bands 4 and 5.T5)(secө-1) (1) Figure 1:The location of the study area 3. All pixels with T4-T5>Tdiff (threshold for temperature difference) are then identified as cloud contaminated. this module is suitable for SST computation in ocean precisely. T4 and T5 are brightness temperatures as derived from channels 4 and 5 and ө is zenith angle. the effective way to analyze remotely sensed data comes from the implementation of appropriate technique. 1. The temperature difference between T4 and T5 is suitable to be implemented to both day time and night time. The proposed module based on the McClain method for atmospheric correction. All the coefficients used for the NOAA 15. the existence of cloud becomes major obstacle for the application of SST. and Triple-window uses bands 3. No. Firstly. a physical model relating radiance from the water column and the concentrations of the water quality provide the most effective way to analyze the data involved in water quality . 16. Night MCSST Dual.1 SST Model The computation of SST becomes more prominent with the AVHRR.

Finally. the SST maps were generated and colour-coded for visual interpretation. the equation given by other studies [7] can be expressed as * (0.1. Vol. is given by [5] R(λ) = 0. (2) (3) where bbw ( λi ) * =water backscattering coefficient bbc ( λi ) =chlorophyll specific backscattering coefficient aw ( λ i ) ac * coefficient C =pure water absorption coefficient =chlorophyll specific absorption =chlorophyll concentration Chlorophyll concentration can be obtained by solving Equation (3) to Equation (4) that is given as aw R(λ ) 0. C= 1 + a 0 R(λ ) a1 + a 2 R(λ ) (5) (c) (d) where a0. 11.1. 08/07/2004. a1 and a2 are the algorithm coefficients that can be solved empirically. R(λ). 3. 30/06/2004. The contributions of the individual components to the overall properties are strictly additive [6]. However. Therefore. 04/07/2004.8 image processing software. Figure 2 shows the SST map using NOAA AVHRR satellite imageries. October 2009 397 studies. and 12 were used for SST retrieval and cloud free sea water pixels were extracted. Bands 10.MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. the regression analysis technique was chosen to solve this equation.1. AVHRR Radiometric and Calibration was carried out to convert DN values to radiance values and later to brightness temperatures using PCI Geomatica 9. Reflectance is particularly dependent on inherent optical properties: the absorption coefficient and the backscattering coefficient.8. 13/07/2004 and 16/7/2004. The irradiance reflectance just below the water surface. both of these parameters were not available for this study.33b(λ)/a(λ) where λ = the spectral wavelength b = the backscattering coefficient a = the absorption coefficient The inherent optical properties are determined by the contents of the water. For a case involving water quality component. All the related analysis was carried out by using PCI Geomatica version 9.165bbw C= * * 0. the cloud free area of sea water pixels (after cloud masking process) for bands 4 and 5 were extracted from the satellite image. the regression model can be simplified to obtain the equation for chlorophyll.33bbc ac − + R(λ ) 0. chlorophyll. An automatic geocoding technique from PCI Geomatica 9. No. .8 (AVHRR Automated Geometric Correction) was applied in this study to geocode the SST maps.33 * ( a w ( λ1 ) + a c ( λ1 )C ) 5. C. 1.165bbw 0.1 SST in South China Sea For further study. DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 5. The NOAA AVHRR (the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca) data used in this study were captured on 29/06/2004. 03/07/2004. From equation 4. 05/07/2004.5bbw (λ1 ) + bbc (λ1 )C ) R( λ1 ) = R1 = 0.165bbw 1− (4) (a) (b) We have to know two parameters (the backscattering and absorption coefficients) to solve Equation 4.

the ground truth measurements of TSS were conducted during Research on the Sea and Islands of Malaysia (ROSES)’s project. The regression analysis generates all the coefficients of Equation 5). First. The reflectance values corresponding to the ground truth sample locations were extracted from all the images. (e) (f) (a) (b) (g) (h) Legend for SST SST < 24 °C SST = (24-26) °C SST = (26-28) °C SST = (28-30) °C SST = (30-32) °C SST > 32 °C Figure 2: SST maps using the NOAA algorithm. (c)03/07/2004. Finally. (f)08/07/2004. Vol. the TSS maps were colour-coded for visual interpretation. AVHRR Radiometric Correction and Calibration was carried out for converting DN values to radiance values and then reflectance values. AVHRR Automated Geometric Correction was applied to all the generated TSS maps through an automatic geocoding technique to geocode these maps. NOAA AVHRR satellite data (channel 1 and channel 2) were used for this purpose. (b)30/06/2004. the TSS map was generated using the proposed algorithm. Then. 1. (e)05/07/2004. (a)29/06/2004. (g) 13/07/2004 and (h)16/7/2004. October 2009 398 measured TSS and estimated TSS (Figure 3). The proposed algorithm produced high accuracy between (e) (f) . (d)04/07/2004. No.MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences.2 Water quality in South China Sea This study included remote sensing of total suspended solids (TSS) on the surface of water. After that. 3. Window size of 3 by 3 was used in this study because the data set produced higher correlation coefficient and lower RMS value. At the same time. The NOAA AVHRR data used earlier in SST analysis were again used for water quality mapping.) (c) (d) 5.

Presently. (a)29/06/2004. US. digital image processing. NOAA-14-6. (g) Legend for TSS TSS < 20 mg/l TSS = (21-40) mg/l TSS = (41. In this study. and NOAA-14) Users Guide: Washington. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESS 95.D. A. NOAA-14/NESDIS. No.L. (b)30/06/2004. in 1984. The TIROS-N/NOAA A-G Satellite Series. T. he is working on remote sensing algorithm for retrievals of water quality parameters and sea surface temperature. Zubir Mat Jafri is a lecturer at the school of physics. in remote sensing from the University of Dundee. . 1486−1502. from USM in Geophysics in 2001 and M. He has more than 20 years teaching experience in the area of physics. His research interests are remote sensing applications for water quality monitoring. K. Vol. 35.D. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank the technical staff who participated in this project. comp. 350−356. and M. B. He obtained his Ph. Satellite derived sea surface temperatures: Current status. O. D.MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences.A.Sc. and ed. D. 39. British Columbia. digital and analogue electronic and also microprocessors. 1978. For further research. J. land surface properties and digital images classification. Limnology and Oceanography. and remote sensing. air quality monitoring. NOAA-14-9. his M. Thanks are also extended to USM for support and encouragement. J. land surface properties and digital images classification. UK. He obtained his B. more coincident SST values should be collected for more accurate verification. (c)03/07/2004.A. 1995. [2] NOAA Polar Orbital Data user’s Guide Section 3. (d)04/07/2004. (1990). October 2009 399 [4] Kidwell.C.. He obtained his B. [5] Kirk. Dependence of relationship between inherent and apparent optical properties of water on solar altitude.htm. (e)05/07/2004. Mohd. Universiti Sains Malaysia. (Geophysics) from Imperial College. He is also active in research work on current-based system. NOAA-14-7. 103−118. D. London.ncdc... Universiti Sains Malaysia. US. in Physics (1984) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Scotland in 1994. air quality monitoring. P. REFERENCES [1] Barton. 3. and Murtha.60) mg/l TSS > 60 mg/l (h) [6] Gallegos. absorption and scattering coefficients in a turbid estuary. automation visual inspection system. His research interests include remote sensing applications in marine and coastal environments. Khiruddin Abdullah received his B. He is a Life Member of Malaysian Institute of Physics and Member of the International Society for Optical Engineering. Washington. Tan Kok Chooi is a MSc student at the school of physics. NOAA-14-10. 1995. (1984). NOAA-14-12. from University College of Swansea. from USM in remote sensing in 2003..Sc.Sc. 1. from USM in Medical Physics in 2008. Specific absorption and backscattering spectra for suspended minerals and chlorophyll-a in Chilko Lake. and Correl. University of London.. NOAA-14-11. He obtained his B. he is currently a faculty member at the School of Physics.D in environmental remote sensing from USM– in 2006. optical NOAA-14-8. CONCLUSION Environmental pollution such as water pollution can be successfully indentified through the implementation of appropriate remote sensing technique. and his Ph. 29.noaa. [3] Schwalb.Sc. NOAA AVHRR imagery effectively provides useful data for TSS and SST mapping in the South China Sea. Figure 3: TSS maps using the proposed algorithm. He has published more than 100 articles in these area. (g) 13/07/2004 and (h)16/7/2004. [7] Gallie.L.0. Available Online: http://www2.Sc. 7. (1992). 6. Universiti Sains Malaysia. 1998. NOAA-14 Polar Orbiter Data (TIROS-N. He is a Member of the International Society for Optical Engineering. (f)08/07/2004. Limnology and Oceanography.C. The SST values in this study region were in the range from 24°C to 32°C. Journal of Geophysical Research. and his Ph. Universiti Sains Malaysia teaching courses in geophysics and remote sensing.Sc. 100: 8777-8790. C.) BIOGRAPHY Lim Hwee San is a lecturer at the school of physics.Sc. Modeling spectral diffuse attenuation. I. in microprocessor technology and application (1991) from Brighton Polytechnic. Wales (1996) in research area of algorithm development for detecting curve from digital images. (Physics) in 1982 from Bedford College. Remote Sensing of Environment. His research interests are remote sensing applications for water quality monitoring. E.

particularly the invertebrates. (Geophysics) in 1982 from (USM).Sc. Universiti Sains Malaysia. October 2009 400 Tan Fuyi is a MSc student at the school of physics. Universiti Sains Malaysia. focussing on the molluscs and echinoderm groups. Has been a member of the Natio nal Advisory Council of Malaysian Marine Park since 1990. Coral Reef Studies. Universiti Sains Malaysia. He obtained his B. UK in 1997. air quality monitoring. meteorology and remote sensing.Sc. 3. Has been actively involved in conservation studies on the Malaysian reefs as well as the reefs around the region. UK. land surface properties and digital images classification. Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Saleh received his B. He is currently a Director of USM's Islamic Centre and Coordinator of Astronomy and Atmospheric Science Research Unit. M. His research has been focused on the marine and coral reef ecology. teaching courses in geophysics. He is currently a faculty member in the School of Physics. Anisah Lee Abdullah is a lecturer at the school of physics. Had vast experience in the study of corals and other marine benthic organisms. (Meteorology) from Reading. since 1982. (Boundary Layer Meteorology) from East Anglia University.Sc. His research interests include meteorology applications. and M. . the longest marine science voyage to the Antarctica. Vol. 1.Phil. in 1985. Had led a team of scientists from the university to conduct a project on marine science in Antarctica for three months in 2002/2003. His research interests are remote sensing applications for water quality monitoring. Nasirun Mohd. from USM in Geo Physics in 2009. No. Universiti Sains Malaysia. Universiti Sains Malaysia. Zulfigar Yassin is a lecturer at the school of physics.MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. Has successfully worked on the biology and reproduction of sea cucumbers for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Her research has been focused on the Environmental Remote Sensing.

No. October 2009 401 . Vol. 3.MASAUM Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. 1.