The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-4/W2-2022
12 Jan 2023
 | 12 Jan 2023


N. S. Rengma and M. Yadav

Keywords: Land surface temperature, Random forest, Spectral indices

Abstract. In the realm of data analytics, machine learning (ML) is one of the most successful techniques for making predictions. The ability of ML algorithms has also been studied in various aspects of land surface temperature (LST) besides its retrieval. The few investigations on LST retrieval using ML algorithms suggested that it may potentially obtain the LST values incorporating relevant variables of land surface parameters; however, the variables and ML models used differ, and so do their accuracies. The accuracy of the model is affected by the variable's contribution, its quality and quantity, and the fulfilment of each technique's assumptions. Hence this study provides a wide range of LST indicators to be employed for LST retrieval using a widely used ML algorithm, random forest. The ML algorithm framework for LST prediction is illustrated with significant spectral indices and terrain parameters across the highly industrialised district of Jharkhand, India. With the exception of one (aspect) variable, the analysis shows that all 20 variables that were included as independent factors were significant and equally contributed to the model. The model built with all the variables including the aspect of the terrain obtained an RMSE of 1.13 degree Celsius and R2 of 0.48. However, after the removal of aspect, the model obtained an R2 of 0.89 and RMSE of 0.74 °C. The performance of the model on consecutive removal of lesser significant variables are evaluated and the study made clear how crucial it is to consider several environmental or land-use factors that could be pertinent to LST.