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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(10), 13448-13465; doi:10.3390/rs71013448

The Impact of Local Acquisition Time on the Accuracy of Microwave Surface Soil Moisture Retrievals over the Contiguous United States

1
School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
USDA ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
3
Water Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
4
Science Systems and Applications, Incorporated, Greenbelt, MD 20705, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 1 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
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Abstract

Satellite-derived soil moisture products have become an important data source for the study of land surface processes and related applications. For satellites with sun-synchronous orbits, these products are typically derived separately for ascending and descending overpasses with different local acquisition times. Moreover, diurnal variations in land surface conditions, and the extent to which they are accurately characterized in retrieval algorithms, lead to distinct systematic and random error characteristics in ascending versus descending soil moisture products. Here, we apply two independent evaluation techniques (triple collocation and direct comparison against sparse ground-based observations) to quantify (correlation-based) accuracy differences in satellite-derived surface soil moisture acquired at different local acquisition times. The orbits from different satellites are separated into two overpass categories: AM (12:00 a.m. to 11:59 a.m. Local Solar Time) and PM (12:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Local Solar Time). Results demonstrate how patterns in the accuracy of AM versus PM retrieval products obtained from a variety of active and passive microwave satellite sensors vary according to land cover and across satellite products with different local acquisition times. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; soil moisture; acquisition time; retrieval algorithm; data merging remote sensing; soil moisture; acquisition time; retrieval algorithm; data merging
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lei, F.; Crow, W.T.; Shen, H.; Parinussa, R.M.; Holmes, T.R.H. The Impact of Local Acquisition Time on the Accuracy of Microwave Surface Soil Moisture Retrievals over the Contiguous United States. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 13448-13465.

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