View or download the article (Rus)

About the Authors

M. Yu. Grishchenko

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University; State nature reserve “Kurilsky”
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography; 119991, Moscow, Leninskie Gory, 1;

694500, Sakhalin Region, Yuzhno-Kurilsk, Zarechnaya st, 5;

S. A. Butorina

NRU Higher School of Economics
Russian Federation
101000, Moscow, Myasnitskaya st, 20


Thermal infrared satellite images are a promising source of information about geographic objects; many of their interpretive features have not been fully examined yet. In this paper we study the possibility of revealing the vegetation cover and certain vegetation communities using thermal infrared satellite images acquired by resource satellites-images characterized by spatial resolution of 30-150 m. These images allow us to study geosystems at the regional level, where the significant part of geographical research is focused. As the study areas selected two sites on Kunashir Island (caldera of the Golovnin volcano and Rogachiov and Gemmerling capes environs and one site on Bering Island (Buyan river valley and its watershed). The area is characterized by high heterogeneity of vegetation cover; in addition, an important factor in this choice was a large number of geobotanical descriptions made up by employees and trainees of the Kurilsky and S.V. Marakov Komandorsky nature reserves. In total, there were processed 37 satellite images that were grouped into multispectral files. The results of interpretation of multispectral images with a thermal infrared channel and without it have been compared. As a result, the work showed a high efficiency of using thermal infrared images to reveal some vegetation communities, particularly dwarf pine brushwood and floodplain willow shrub.


thermal infrared images, Landsat, geographical interpretation of satellite images, Kunashir island, Bering island.


  1. Knizhnikov Yu.F., Kravtsova V.I. Aerokosmicheskie issledovaniya dinamiki geograficheskikh yavlenii [Aerospace researches of the geographical phenomena dynamics], Moscow: Izd-vo Mosk. un-ta, 1991, 206 p. (in Russian).
  2. Bluma M., Lenskya I.M., Nestel D. Estimation of olive grove canopy temperature from MODIS thermal imagery is more accurate than interpolation from meteorological stations. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2013, Vol. 176, pp. 90–93.
  3. Hulley G., Veraverbeke S., Hook S. Thermal-based techniques for land cover change detection using a new dynamic MODIS multispectral emissivity product (MOD21). Remote Sensing of Environment, 2014, Vol. 140, pp. 755–765.
  4. Rodriguez-Galiano V., Pardo-Iguzquiza E., Sanchez-Castillo M., Chica-Olmo M., ChicaRivas M. Downscaling Landsat 7 ETM+ thermal imagery using land surface temperature and NDVI images. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 2012, Vol. 18, pp. 515–527.
  5. Rogan J., Ziemer M., Martin D., Ratick S., Cuba N., De Lauer V. The impact of tree cover loss on land surface temperature: A case study of central Massachusetts using Landsat Thematic Mapper thermal data. Applied Geography, 2013, Vol. 45, pp. 49–57.
  6. Srivastava P.K., Majumdar T.J., Bhattacharya A.K. Surface temperature estimation in Singhbhum Shear Zone of India using Landsat-7 ETM+ thermal infrared data. Advances in Space Research, 2009, Vol. 43, pp. 1563–1574.

For citation: Grishchenko M.Y., Butorina S.A. EVALUATION OF THE THERMAL INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGES APPLIANCE FOR VEGETATION INTERPRETATION (CASE STUDY OF BERING AND KUNASHIR ISLANDS). Proceedings of the International conference “InterCarto. InterGIS”. 2017;23(3):71-81. https://doi.org/10.24057/2414-9179-2017-3-23-71-81