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An experiment on remote sensing of soil moisture content was conducted over bare fields with microwave radiometers at the frequencies of 1.4, 5, and 10.7 GHz, during July-September of 1981. Three bare fields with different surface roughnesses and soil textures were prepared for the experiment. Ground-truth acquisition of soil temperatures and moisture contents for 5 layers down to the depths of 15 cm was made concurrently with radiometric measurements. The experimental results show that the effect of surface roughness is to increase the soil's brightness temperature and to reduce the slope of regression between brightness temperature and moisture content. The slopes of regression for soils with different textures are found to be comparable and the effect of soil texture is reflected in the difference of regression line intercepts at brightness-temperature axis. The result is consistent with laboratory measurement of soil's dielectric permittivity. Measurements on wet smooth bare fields give lower brightness temperatures at 5 than at 1.4 GHz. This phenomenon is not expected from current radiative transfer theory, using laboratory measurements of the relationship between dielectric permittivity and moisture content for different soil-water mixtures at frequencies of <5 GHz.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:GE-21 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Jan. 1983