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2 October 2008 Exploiting optical E.O. data for soil moisture retrieval
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In the context of agricultural applications, the knowledge of soil moisture availability is an essential aspect for irrigation management. The microwave waveband region (SAR) has been primarily used to estimate soil moisture from Earth Observation (E.O.) data. However, the optical domain (0.4 - 2.5 μm) may as well offer the possibility to get information about soil moisture since an overall decrease of soil reflectance corresponds to increasing surface soil water content. Data from two different experiments (ESA SPARC and AgriSAR) have been exploited aiming at estimating soil moisture from optical E.O. data by using the radiative transfer model PROSAILH. A soil scale factor (α) was introduced into the model and estimated using a LUT inversion technique. Relatively high negative relationships between the α-factor and the measured soil water content (up to R2 = 0.73) could be found for several crop types with low vegetation cover. The results of this study indicate the potential to retrieve surface soil moisture information from optical E.O. data for similar soil types. The method gives the advantage of retrieving simultaneously soil and canopy characteristics from the same E.O. data sources by using a physical method of parameter estimation.
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Katja Richter, Guido D'Urso, Mario Palladino, and Francesco Vuolo "Exploiting optical E.O. data for soil moisture retrieval", Proc. SPIE 7104, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology X, 71040D (2 October 2008);

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