Mediterranean Basin: Sea Surface Temperature & Vegetation with ATSR-2

Keywords: ATSR, ESA/ESRIN, SST, Vegetation, Mediterranean.

Color composite GIF image at low resolution

Color composite GIF image at 2 km resolution ( 2 Mbyte)

Mediterranean Basin

The Mediterranean Basin as observed by the ATSR-2 instrument on board the European satellite ERS-2.
Over 400 images from the ATSR* (Along Track Scanning Radiometer) instrument onboard the Remote Sensing Satellite ERS-2 of the European Space Agency, were collected in the time frame 17 July - 8 August 1996 and processed to obtain this composite view.
* The ATSR on board ERS-1 and ERS-2 is what is termed an 'Announcement of Opportunity' instrument, designed and built by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) with funds from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

On Sea

The Sea Surface Temperatures (skin temperatures) of the Mediterranean were derived from a combination of ATSR-2 thermal channels data. The colour scale ranges from red (warm) to blue (cold), through variations from yellow to green. Cloud cover (white) persists over Western France and the Atlantic Coast. ATSR-2, thanks to its frequent revisiting capability, allows not only to monitor temperatures and their changes with high precision, but also to observe, on a regular basis, areas where particular phenomena like upwelling occur.
Profitable use of the information collected on oceanographic features and sea currents can be made by climatologists and by the fishing industry.

On Land

The image shows vegetation cover in countries around the Mediterranean, as represented by the SAVI (Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index), derived by combining ATSR-2 calibrated visible channels data. The colour scale ranges from green (dense coverage) to brown (arid areas). The removal of cloud cover was possible by assessing and considering the maximum 'SAVI' for each of the measurement points during the data acquisition period.
The SAVI index is highly responsive to vegetation canopy and less sensitive to soil colour and brightness variation than the traditional NDVI - Normalised Difference Vegetation Index. This enables regular assessment of the vegetation cover throughout the seasons and along the years. It can also significantly contribute to crop growth monitoring and to climate studies.

Acquisition time : variable between 8.00 am (GMT) at East, and 11.00 am (GMT) at West
Acquisition station : Kiruna, Sweden
Spatial resolution : 1 x 1 Km
Projection : Plate Carree
Image processing : ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, within a joint ESRIN/EURISY project.
Processed with software developed at RAL.

Raw Image: 1km resolution, 2 bytes digitisation
In order to facilitate the ftp transfert, the composition has been divided in 5 consecutive areas of 6500km x 420 km. The files are gzip compressed.
With those raw files of 6500 column, 420 lines, 2 bytes per pixel, you can retrieve the Sea Surface Temperature value and the Vegetation Index derived from ATSR-2 data.
The data are provided in raw format, therefore there's no color table associated.

To retrieve the raw image, just click on the strip you want, the file will be downloaded using ftp.

See also: