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Marine Stratocumulus Cloud Fields off the Coast of Southern California Observed Using LANDSAT Imagery. Part II: Textural Analysis

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  • a Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota
  • | b Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota
  • | c Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota
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Abstract

Statistical measures of the spatial distributions of gray levels (cloud reflectivities) are determined for LANDSAT Multispectral Scanner digital data. Textural properties for twelve stratocumulus cloud fields, seven cumulus fields, and two cirrus fields are examined using the Spatial Gray Level Co-Occurrence Matrix method. The co-occurrence statistics are computed for pixel separations ranging from 57 m to 29 km and at angles of 0°, 45°, 90° and 135°. Nine different textual measures are used to define the cloud field spatial relationships. However, the measures of contrast and correlation appear to be most useful in distinguishing cloud structure.

Cloud field macrotexture describes general cloud field characteristics at distances greater than the size of typical cloud elements. It is determined from the spatial asymptotic values of the texture measures. The slope of the texture curves at small distances provides a measure of the microtexture of individual cloud cells. Cloud fields composed primarily of small cells have very steep slopes and reach their asymptotic values at short distances from the origin. As the cells composing the cloud field grow larger, the slope becomes more gradual and the asymptotic distance increases accordingly. Low asymptotic values of correlation show that stratocumulus cloud fields have no large scale organized structure.

Besides the ability to distinguish cloud field structure, texture appears to be a potentially valuable tool in cloud classification. Stratocumulus clouds are characterized by low values of angular second moment and large values of entropy. Cirrus clouds appear to have extremely low values of contrast, low values of entropy, and very large values of correlation.

Finally, we propose that sampled high spatial resolution satellite data be used in conjunction with coarser resolution operational satellite data to detect and identify cloud field structure and directionality and to locate regions of subresolution scale cloud contamination.

Abstract

Statistical measures of the spatial distributions of gray levels (cloud reflectivities) are determined for LANDSAT Multispectral Scanner digital data. Textural properties for twelve stratocumulus cloud fields, seven cumulus fields, and two cirrus fields are examined using the Spatial Gray Level Co-Occurrence Matrix method. The co-occurrence statistics are computed for pixel separations ranging from 57 m to 29 km and at angles of 0°, 45°, 90° and 135°. Nine different textual measures are used to define the cloud field spatial relationships. However, the measures of contrast and correlation appear to be most useful in distinguishing cloud structure.

Cloud field macrotexture describes general cloud field characteristics at distances greater than the size of typical cloud elements. It is determined from the spatial asymptotic values of the texture measures. The slope of the texture curves at small distances provides a measure of the microtexture of individual cloud cells. Cloud fields composed primarily of small cells have very steep slopes and reach their asymptotic values at short distances from the origin. As the cells composing the cloud field grow larger, the slope becomes more gradual and the asymptotic distance increases accordingly. Low asymptotic values of correlation show that stratocumulus cloud fields have no large scale organized structure.

Besides the ability to distinguish cloud field structure, texture appears to be a potentially valuable tool in cloud classification. Stratocumulus clouds are characterized by low values of angular second moment and large values of entropy. Cirrus clouds appear to have extremely low values of contrast, low values of entropy, and very large values of correlation.

Finally, we propose that sampled high spatial resolution satellite data be used in conjunction with coarser resolution operational satellite data to detect and identify cloud field structure and directionality and to locate regions of subresolution scale cloud contamination.

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