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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Estimating Soil Properties from Microwave Measurements of Soil Moisture

Authors
item Mattikalli, Nandish - NASA
item Engman, Edwin - NASA
item Ahuja, Lajpat
item Jackson, Thomas

Submitted to: European Symposium on Satellite Remote Sensing
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 24, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Soil physical properties can be estimated using temporal variations of surface soil moisture derived from remote sensing. Passive microwave remote sensing was employed to collect soil moisture data across the Little Washita Watershed, OK, for the period between June 10-18, 1992. The ESTAR instrument operating at L band was flown on a NASA C-130 aircraft. Brightness temperature data collected at a ground resolution of 200 m were used to derive the spatial distribution of surface soil moisture. Analysis of temporal soil moisture information and soils data reveals a direct relationship between changes in soil moisture and soil texture. Areas identified as loam/silt loam soils are characterized by larger changes in total soil moisture and sand/fine sandy loam soils by remarkably smaller amounts of change. Analysis suggests that two-day initial drainage of the soil, measured by remote sensing, is related to the saturated hydraulic conductivity. A methodology has been developed to use remotely sensed data for estimating the profile saturated hydraulic conductivity using a hydrologic model and a geographical information system. Model simulations have yielded good correlations between soil moisture change and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The results have potential applications for obtaining estimates of the spatial distribution of soil properties over large areas for input to mesoscale hydrologic and global circulation models.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014