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Explaining anomalies in SAR and scatterometer soil moisture retrievals from dry soils with sub-surface scattering

Morrison, K. and Wagner, W. (2020) Explaining anomalies in SAR and scatterometer soil moisture retrievals from dry soils with sub-surface scattering. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 58 (3). pp. 2190-2197. ISSN 0196-2892

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2954771


This paper presents the results of a laboratory investigation to explain anomalously-high soil moisture estimates observed in retrievals from SAR and scatterometer backscatter, affecting extensive areas of the world associated with arid climates. High resolution C-band tomographic profiling was applied in experiments to understand the mechanisms underlying these anomalous retrievals. The imagery captured unique high-resolution profiles of the variations in the vertical backscattering patterns though a sandy soil with moisture change. The relative strengths of the surface and sub-surface returns were dependent upon both soil moisture and soil structure, incidence-angle, and polarization. Co-polarised returns could be dominated by both surface and sub-surface returns at times, whereas cross-polarised returns were strongly associated with sub-surface features. The work confirms suspicions that anomalous moisture estimates can arise from the presence of sub-surface features. Diversity in polarization and incidence angle may provide sufficient diagnostics to flag and correct these erroneous estimates, allowing their incorporation into global soil moisture productsMorrison

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:87367
Publisher:IEEE Xplore


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