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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 142; doi:10.3390/rs8020142

Evaluation of Simplified Polarimetric Decomposition for Soil Moisture Retrieval over Vegetated Agricultural Fields

1
Centre d’applications et de Recherches en Télédétection (CARTEL), Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K2R1, Canada
2
Microwaves and Radar Institute, German Aerospace Center, Oberpfaffenhofen 82234, Germany
3
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich 8093, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 10 February 2016

Abstract

This paper investigates a simplified polarimetric decomposition for soil moisture retrieval over agricultural fields. In order to overcome the coherent superposition of the backscattering contributions from vegetation and underlying soils, a simplification of an existing polarimetric decomposition is proposed in this study. It aims to retrieve the soil moisture by using only the surface scattering component, once the volume scattering contribution is removed. Evaluation of the proposed simplified algorithm is performed using extensive ground measurements of soil and vegetation characteristics and the time series of UAVSAR (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar) data collected in the framework of SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) Validation Experiment 2012 (SMAPVEX12). The retrieval process is tested and analyzed in detail for a variety of crops during the phenological stages considered in this study. The results show that the performance of soil moisture retrieval depends on both the crop types and the crop phenological stage. Soybean and pasture fields present the higher inversion rate during the considered phenological stage, while over canola and wheat fields, the soil moisture can be retrieved only partially during the crop developing stage. RMSE of 0.06–0.12 m3/m3 and an inversion rate of 26%–38% are obtained for the soil moisture retrieval based on the simplified polarimetric decomposition. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil moisture; vegetation; agricultural fields; polarimetric decomposition; SMAPVEX12; UAVSAR soil moisture; vegetation; agricultural fields; polarimetric decomposition; SMAPVEX12; UAVSAR
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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

Wang, H.; Magagi, R.; Goita, K.; Jagdhuber, T.; Hajnsek, I. Evaluation of Simplified Polarimetric Decomposition for Soil Moisture Retrieval over Vegetated Agricultural Fields. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 142.

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