Comparison of Two Bare Soil Reflectivity Models and Validation with L-Band Radiometer Measurements

Abstract : The emission of bare soils at microwave L-band (1 – 2 GHz) frequencies is known to be correlated with surface soil moisture. Roughness plays an important role in determining soil emissivity although it is not clear which roughness length scales are most relevant. Small-scale (i.e. smaller than the resolution limit) inhomogenities across the soil surface and with soil depth, caused by both, spatially varying soil properties and topographic features may affect soil emissivity. In this study, roughness effects were investigated by comparing measured brightness temperatures of well-characterized bare soil surfaces with the results from two reflectivity models. The selected models are the Air-to-Soil (A2S) transition model and Shi's parameterization of the Integral Equation Model (IEM). The experimental data taken from the Surface Monitoring Of the Soil Reservoir Experiment (SMOSREX) consist of surface profiles, soil permittivities and temperatures, and brightness temperatures at 1.4 GHz with horizontal and vertical polarization. The types of correlation functions of the rough surfaces were investigated as required to evaluate Shi's parameterization of the IEM. The correlation functions were found to be clearly more Exponential than Gaussian. Over the experimental period the diurnal mean RMS-height decreased, while the correlation length and the type of correlation function did not change. Comparing the reflectivity models with respect to their sensitivities to the surface RMS-height and correlation length revealed distinct differences. Modeled reflectivities were tested against reflectivities derived from measured brightness, which showed that the two models perform differently depending on the polarization and the observation angle.
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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2010, 48 (1), pp.325-337
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M. Schwank, I. Völksch, J. P. Wigneron, Yann Kerr, Arnaud Mialon, et al.. Comparison of Two Bare Soil Reflectivity Models and Validation with L-Band Radiometer Measurements. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2010, 48 (1), pp.325-337. 〈ird-00425183〉

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