Observing Water Surface Temperature from Two Different Airborne Platforms over Temporarily Flooded Wadden Areas at the Elbe Estuary
Methods for Corrections and Analysis
Over the Hahnöfer Nebenelbe, a part of the Elbe estuary near Hamburg, Germany, a combined aerial survey with an unmanned aerial system (UAV) and a gyrocopter was conducted to acquire information about the water surface temperatures. The water temperature in the estuary is important for biological processes and living conditions of riverine organisms. This study aimed to develop a workflow that allows for comparing and analysing surface temperatures acquired by two different remote sensing systems. The thermal infrared (TIR) datasets were compared with in situ measurements gathered during the data acquisition, where both TIR datasets showed a varying bias. Potential error sources regarding the absolute and relative accuracy were investigated and modelled based on the available measurements, including emissivity, atmosphere, skin effect at the water surface, camera flat field correction and calibration. The largest effects on the observed TIR water temperature had the camera calibration and the modelled atmospheric effects. After the correction steps, both datasets could be combined to create a multitemporal representation of the temperature pattern and profiles over the survey area's wadden flats.