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Using Passive Microwave Response to Soil Moisture Change for Soil Mapping: A Case Study for the Livingstone Creek Catchment

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4 Author(s)
G. Summerell ; NSW Dept. of Environ. & Climate Change, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia ; V. Shoemark ; S. Grant ; J. P. Walker

The 46-km2 Livingstone Creek Catchment in southeastern Australia was flown with a passive microwave airborne remote sensor four times throughout the three-week National Airborne Field Experiment in 2006, with a spatial resolution of ~200 m. Both continuous and discrete measurements of soil moisture were taken to help with interpretation of results. The catchment was experiencing extreme drought conditions leading up to the experiment, and as a result, ground cover in the catchment was minimal with many paddocks consisting of sparse dry stubble and grass. During the experiment period of November 2006, 30 mm of rainfall occurred, with the catchment going from parched dry conditions to surface wet conditions and back to dry conditions again in a short period of time. Changes in moisture responses observed by the airborne passive microwave sensor were field verified to reflect the different geology, soil, and landform elements of the catchment. Consequently, this study suggests that passive microwave remote sensing has potential as a tool to assist with soil mapping, through detecting changes in soil moisture spatial and temporal patterns.

Published in:

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )