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Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2875;

SWCTI: Surface Water Content Temperature Index for Assessment of Surface Soil Moisture Status

School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
School of Water Conservancy and Environment, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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The vegetation supply water index (VSWI = NDVI/LST) is an effective metric estimating soil moisture in areas with moderate to dense vegetation cover. However, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) exhibits a long water stress lag and the land surface temperature (LST), sensitive to water stress, does not contribute considerably to surface soil moisture monitoring due to the constraints of the mathematical characteristics of VSWI: LST influences VSWI less when LST value is sufficiently high. This paper mathematically analyzes the characteristics of VSWI and proposes a new operational dryness index (surface water content temperature index, SWCTI) for the assessment of surface soil moisture status. SWCTI uses the surface water content index (SWCI), which provides a more accurate estimation of surface soil moisture than that of NDVI, as the numerator and the modified surface temperature, which has a greater influence on SWCTI than that of LST, as the denominator. The validation work includes comparison of SWCTI with in situ soil moisture and other remote sensing indices. The results show SWCTI demonstrates the highest correlation with in situ soil moisture; the highest correlation R = 0.801 is found between SWCTI and the 0–5 cm soil moisture in a sandy loam. SWCTI is a functional and effective method that has a great potential in surface soil moisture monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS); SWCTI; SWCI; VSWI Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS); SWCTI; SWCI; VSWI

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Hong, Z.; Zhang, W.; Yu, C.; Zhang, D.; Li, L.; Meng, L. SWCTI: Surface Water Content Temperature Index for Assessment of Surface Soil Moisture Status. Sensors 2018, 18, 2875.

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