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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(7), 9450-9472; doi:10.3390/rs70709450

Theoretical Modeling and Analysis of L- and P-band Radar Backscatter Sensitivity to Soil Active Layer Dielectric Variations

1
Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, College of Forestry and Conservation, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA
2
The Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 January 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
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Abstract

Freeze-thaw (FT) and moisture dynamics within the soil active layer are critical elements of boreal, arctic and alpine ecosystems, and environmental change assessments. We evaluated the potential for detecting dielectric changes within different soil layers using combined L- and P-band radar remote sensing as a prerequisite for detecting FT and moisture profile changes within the soil active layer. A two-layer scattering model was developed and validated for simulating radar responses from vertically inhomogeneous soil. The model simulations indicated that inhomogeneity in the soil dielectric profile contributes to both L- and P-band backscatter, but with greater P-band sensitivity at depth. The difference in L- and P-band responses to soil dielectric profile inhomogeneity appears suitable for detecting associated changes in soil active layer conditions. Additional evaluation using collocated airborne radar (AIRSAR) observations and in situ soil moisture measurements over alpine tundra indicates that combined L- and P-band SAR observations are sensitive to soil dielectric profile heterogeneity associated with variations in soil moisture and FT conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: radar; L-band; P-band; soil active layer; Freeze-thaw; AIRSAR; CLPX radar; L-band; P-band; soil active layer; Freeze-thaw; AIRSAR; CLPX
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Du, J.; Kimball, J.S.; Moghaddam, M. Theoretical Modeling and Analysis of L- and P-band Radar Backscatter Sensitivity to Soil Active Layer Dielectric Variations. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 9450-9472.

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