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Estimation of bare surface soil moisture and surface roughness parameter using L-band SAR image data

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5 Author(s)
Jiancheng Shi ; Inst. for Comput. Earth Syst. Sci., California Univ., Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Wang, J. ; Hsu, A.Y. ; O'Neill, P.E.
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An algorithm based on a fit of the single-scattering integral equation method (IEM) was developed to provide estimation of soil moisture and surface roughness parameter (a combination of rms roughness height and surface power spectrum) from quad-polarized synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements. This algorithm was applied to a series of measurements acquired at L-band (1.25 GHz) from both AIRSAR (Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and SIR-C (Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C) over a well-managed watershed in southwest Oklahoma. Prior to its application for soil moisture inversion, a good agreement was found between the single-scattering IEM simulations and the L-band measurements of SIR-C and AIRSAR over a wide range of soil moisture and surface roughness conditions. The sensitivity of soil moisture variation to the co-polarized signals were then examined under the consideration of the calibration accuracy of various components of SAR measurements. It was found that the two co-polarized backscattering coefficients and their combinations would provide the best input to the algorithm for estimation of soil moisture and roughness parameter. Application of the inversion algorithm to the co-polarized measurements of both AIRSAR and SIR-C resulted in estimated values of soil moisture and roughness parameter for bare and short-vegetated fields that compared favorably with those sampled on the ground. The root-mean-square (rms) errors of the comparison were found to be 3.4% and 1.9 dB for soil moisture and surface roughness parameter, respectively

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 5 )