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Operational Mapping of Soil Moisture Using Synthetic Aperture Radar Data: Application to the Touch Basin (France)

French Geological Survey (BRGM), BP 36009, 45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France
Météo-France, 42 avenue G. Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse Cedex, France
SCHAPI, 42 avenue Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse Cedex, France
CETP/CNRS, 10/12, avenue de l'Europe, 78140 Velizy, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2007, 7(10), 2458-2483;
Received: 31 August 2007 / Accepted: 21 October 2007 / Published: 22 October 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Natural Resources and the Environment)
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Soil moisture is a key parameter in different environmental applications, suchas hydrology and natural risk assessment. In this paper, surface soil moisture mappingwas carried out over a basin in France using satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR)images acquired in 2006 and 2007 by C-band (5.3 GHz) sensors. The comparisonbetween soil moisture estimated from SAR data and in situ measurements shows goodagreement, with a mapping accuracy better than 3%. This result shows that themonitoring of soil moisture from SAR images is possible in operational phase. Moreover,moistures simulated by the operational Météo-France ISBA soil-vegetation-atmospheretransfer model in the SIM-Safran-ISBA-Modcou chain were compared to radar moistureestimates to validate its pertinence. The difference between ISBA simulations and radarestimates fluctuates between 0.4 and 10% (RMSE). The comparison between ISBA andgravimetric measurements of the 12 March 2007 shows a RMSE of about 6%. Generally,these results are very encouraging. Results show also that the soil moisture estimatedfrom SAR images is not correlated with the textural units defined in the European Soil Geographical Database (SGDBE) at 1:1000000 scale. However, dependence was observed between texture maps and ISBA moisture. This dependence is induced by the use of the texture map as an input parameter in the ISBA model. Even if this parameter is very important for soil moisture estimations, radar results shown that the textural map scale at 1:1000000 is not appropriate to differentiate moistures zones. View Full-Text
Keywords: SAR sensors; soil moisture; ISBA model. SAR sensors; soil moisture; ISBA model.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Baghdadi, N.; Aubert, M.; Cerdan, O.; Franchistéguy, L.; Viel, C.; Eric, M.; Zribi, M.; Desprats, J.F. Operational Mapping of Soil Moisture Using Synthetic Aperture Radar Data: Application to the Touch Basin (France). Sensors 2007, 7, 2458-2483.

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