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This letter aimed to validate the advanced integral equation model (AIEM) through different correlation length parameterizations using radar imagery for field-scale studies in a semi-arid environment. This letter compared backscattering coefficients simulated from the AIEM and retrieved from the synthetic aperture radar imagery of a study site in Sardinia. Two treatments for the correlation length were adopted, i.e., in situ measurements and empirically based correlation length estimation. The results showed an overestimation of backscattering coefficients of 2.5 dB with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 3.1 dB for HH and VV polarizations and an underestimation of 27.7 dB and an RMSE of 31.0 dB for HV polarization from the AIEM parameterized by in situ measurements. When using the AIEM with an empirical correlation length, a bias of less than 1.0 dB was found with an RMSE of 1.7 dB for HH and VV polarizations and an overestimation of 1.1 dB and an RMSE of 5.1 dB for HV polarization. Better results were obtained with surface soil moisture (SSM) measured at 10 cm than at 5 cm. Promising soil moisture data retrieval from the SAR imagery is expected from using the empirical correlation length-parameterized AIEM for field-scale purposes in semi-arid environments.
Date of Publication: May 2013