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Soil moisture mapping at regional scales using microwave radiometry: the Southern Great Plains Hydrology Experiment

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8 Author(s)
Jackson, T.J. ; US Dept. of Agric., Agric. Res. Service, Beltsville, MD, USA ; Le Vine, D.M. ; Hsu, A.Y. ; Oldak, A.
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Surface soil moisture retrieval algorithms based on passive microwave observations, developed and verified at high spatial resolution, were evaluated in a regional scale experiment. Using previous investigations as a base, the Southern Great Plains Hydrology Experiment (SGP97) was designed and conducted to extend the algorithm to coarser resolutions, larger regions with more diverse conditions, and longer time periods. The L-band electronically scanned thinned array radiometer (ESTAR) was used for daily mapping of surface soil moisture over an area greater than 10000 km2 for a one month period. Results show that the soil moisture retrieval algorithm performed the same as in previous investigations, demonstrating consistency of both the retrieval and the instrument. Error levels were on the order of 3% for area Integrated averages of sites used for validation. This result showed that for the coarser resolution used that the theory and techniques employed in the algorithm apply at this scale. Spatial patterns observed in the Little Washita Watershed in previous investigations were also observed. These results showed that soil texture dominated the spatial pattern at this scale. However, the regional soil moisture patterns were a reflection of the spatially variable rainfall and soil texture patterns were not as obvious

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 1999

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