Discriminating between surface soil freeze/thaw states with the use of passive microwave brightness temperature has been an effective approach so far. However, soil moisture has a direct impact on the brightness temperature of passive microwave remote sensing, which may result in uncertainties in the widely used dual-index algorithm (DIA). In this study, an improved algorithm is proposed to identify the surface soil freeze/thaw states based on the original DIA in association with the AMSR-E and AMSR2 soil moisture products to avoid the impact of soil moisture on the brightness temperature derived from passive microwave remotely-sensed soil moisture products. The local variance of soil moisture (LVSM) with a 25-day interval was introduced into this algorithm as an effective indicator for selecting a threshold to update and modify the original DIA to identify surface soil freeze/thaw states. The improved algorithm was validated against in-situ observations of the Soil Moisture/Temperature Monitoring Network (SMTMN). The results suggest that the temporal and spatial variation characteristics of LVSM can significantly discriminate between surface soil freeze/thaw states. The overall discrimination accuracy of the improved algorithm was approximately 89% over a remote area near the town of Naqu on the East-Central Tibetan Plateau, which demonstrated an obvious improvement compared with the accuracy of 82% derived with the original DIA. More importantly, the correct classification rate for the modified pixels was over 96%.
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