Satellite remote sensing of surface energy balance: success, failures, and unresolved issues in FIFE

F. G. Hall, K. F. Huemmrich, S. J. Goetz, P. J. Sellers, J. E. Nickeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


The FIFE staff science group, consisting of the authors, developed and evaluated process models relating surface energy and mass flux, that is, surface rates, to boundary layer and surface biophysical characteristics, that is, surface states. In addition, we developed and evaluated remote sensing algorithms for inferring surface state characteristics. In this paper we report the results of our efforts. We also look in detail at the sensor and satellite platform requirements (spatial resolution and orbital requirements) as driven by surface energy balance dynamics and spatial variability. We examine also the scale invariance of the process models and remote sensing algorithms, that is, to what degree do the remotely sensed parameters and energy balance relations translate from the patch level where they were developed to the mesoscale level where they are required? Finally, we examine the atmospheric correction and calibration issues involved in extending the remotely sensed observations within a season and between years. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19,061-19,089
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD17
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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