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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(4), 387; doi:10.3390/rs9040387

Evaluation and Improvement of SMOS and SMAP Soil Moisture Products for Soils with High Organic Matter over a Forested Area in Northeast China

1
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gabriel Senay and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract

Soil moisture (SM) retrieval from SMOS (the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission) and SMAP (the Soil Moisture Active/Passive mission) passive microwave data over forested areas with required accuracy is of great significance and poses some challenges. In this paper, we used Ground Wireless Sensor Network (GWSN) SM measurements from 9 September to 5 November 2015 to validate SMOS and SMAP Level 3 (L3) SM products over forested areas in northeastern China. Our results found that neither SMOS nor SMAP L3 SM products were ideal, with respective RMSE (root mean square error) values of 0.31 cm3/cm3 and 0.17 cm3/cm3. Nevertheless, some improvements in SM retrieval might be achievable through refinements of the soil dielectric model with respect to high percentage of soil organic matter (SOM) in the forested area. To that end, the potential of the semi-empirical soil dielectric model proposed by Jun Liu (Liu’s model) in improving SM retrieval results over forested areas was investigated. Introducing Liu’s model into the retrieval algorithms of both SMOS and SMAP missions produced promising results. For SMAP, the RMSE of L3 SM products improved from 0.16 cm3/cm3 to 0.07 cm3/cm3 for AM (local solar time around 06:00 am) data, and from 0.17 cm3/cm3 to 0.05 cm3/cm3 for PM (local solar time around 06:00 pm) data. For SMOS ascending orbit products, the accuracy was improved by 56%, while descending orbit products improved by 45%. View Full-Text
Keywords: validation; soil moisture; organic matter; soil dielectric model; forest; northeast China validation; soil moisture; organic matter; soil dielectric model; forest; northeast China
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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

Jin, M.; Zheng, X.; Jiang, T.; Li, X.; Li, X.-J.; Zhao, K. Evaluation and Improvement of SMOS and SMAP Soil Moisture Products for Soils with High Organic Matter over a Forested Area in Northeast China. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 387.

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