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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(6), 476; doi:10.3390/rs8060476

Determination of the Optimal Mounting Depth for Calculating Effective Soil Temperature at L-Band: Maqu Case

Department of Water Resources, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7500AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zoltan Vekerdy, Nicolas Baghdadi, Prashant K. Srivastava, James Campbell and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2822 KB, uploaded 4 June 2016]   |  


Effective soil temperature T e f f is one of the basic parameters in passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture. At present, dedicated satellite soil moisture monitoring missions use the L-band as the operating frequency. However, T e f f at the L-band is strongly affected by soil moisture and temperature profiles. Recently, a two-layer scheme and a corresponding multilayer form have been developed to accommodate such influences. In this study, the soil moisture/temperature data collected and simulated by the Noah land surface model across the Maqu Network are used to verify the newly developed schemes. There are two key findings. Firstly, the new two-layer scheme is able to assess which site provides relatively higher accuracy when estimating T e f f . It is found that, on average, nearly 20% of the T e f f signal cannot be captured by the Maqu Network, in the currently assumed common installation configuration. This knowledge is important, since the spatial averaged brightness temperature (a function of T e f f ) is used to determine soil moisture. Secondly, the developed method has made it possible to identify that the optimal mounting depths for the observation pair are 5 cm and 20 cm for calculating T e f f at the center station in the Maqu Network. It has been suggested that the newly developed method can provide an objective way to configure an optimal soil moisture/temperature network and improve the representativeness of the existing networks regarding the calculation of T e f f . View Full-Text
Keywords: microwave remote sensing; soil effective temperature; soil moisture; Maqu Network; Tibetan Plateau microwave remote sensing; soil effective temperature; soil moisture; Maqu Network; Tibetan Plateau

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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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Lv, S.; Zeng, Y.; Wen, J.; Zheng, D.; Su, Z. Determination of the Optimal Mounting Depth for Calculating Effective Soil Temperature at L-Band: Maqu Case. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 476.

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