Submitted to: Journal of Hydrometeorology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2003
Publication Date: 2/1/2004
Citation: Gao, H., Wood, E., Drusch, M., Crow, W.T., Jackson, T.J. 2004. Using a microwave emission model to estimate soil moisture from ESTAR observations during SGP99. Journal of Hydrometerology. 4:49-63. Interpretive Summary: The manuscript develops a novel technique for remotely sensing soil moisture and validates the technique using airborne and ground truth data from the 1999 Southern Great Plains (SGP99) field experiment. The approach has important implications for current efforts to develop a global spaceborne observing system for soil moisture.
Technical Abstract: The 1999 Southern Great Plains Hydrology Experiment (SGP99) provides comprehensive data sets for evaluating microwave remote sensing of soil moisture algorithms that involve complex physical properties of soils and vegetation. The Land Surface Microwave Emission Model (LSMEM) is presented and used to retrieve soil moisture from brightness temperatures collected by the airborne ESTAR L-band radiometer, where ESTAR refers to the Electronically Scanned Thinned Array Radiometer. Soil moisture maps for the SGP99 domain are retrieved using LSMEM, surface temperatures computed using the VIC land surface mode, standard soil data sets and vegetation parameters estimated through remote sensing. The retrieved soil moisture is validated using field-scale and area-averaged soil moisture collected as part of the SGP99 experiment, and had a RMS range for the area-averaged soil moisture of 1.8-2.8% volumetric soil moisture.