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Open AccessArticle

Monitoring Surface Soil Moisture Content over the Vegetated Area by Integrating Optical and SAR Satellite Observations in the Permafrost Region of Tibetan Plateau

1
Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute (GENRI) and Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science (GGS), College of Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
2
China Three Gorges International Corporation, Xicheng District, Beijing 100022, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(1), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12010183
Received: 7 December 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 30 December 2019 / Published: 3 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Soil Moisture Validation and Applications)
Surface soil moisture (SSM), the average water content of surface soil (up to 5 cm depth), plays a key role in the energy exchange within the ecosystem. We estimated SSM in areas with vegetation cover (grassland) by combining microwave and optical satellite measurements in the central Tibetan Plateau (TP) in 2015. We exploited TERRA moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Sentinel-1A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observations to estimate SSM through a simplified water-cloud model (sWCM). This model considers the impact of vegetation water content (VWC) to SSM retrieval by integrating the vegetation index (VI), the normalized difference water index (NDWI), or the normalized difference infrared index (NDII). Sentinel-1 SAR C-band backscattering coefficients, incidence angle, and NDWI/NDII were assimilated in the sWCM to monitor SSM. The soil moisture and temperature monitoring network on the central TP (CTP-SMTMN) measures SSM within the study area, and ground measurements were applied to train and validate the model. Via the proposed methods, we estimated the SSM in vegetated area with an R2 of 0.43 and a ubRMSE of 0.06 m3/m3 when integrating the NDWI and with an R2 of 0.45 and a ubRMSE of 0.06 m3/m3 when integrating the NDII. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface soil moisture; optical; microwave; vegetation cover; NDWI; NDII; Tibetan Plateau surface soil moisture; optical; microwave; vegetation cover; NDWI; NDII; Tibetan Plateau
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, C.; Qu, J.J.; Hao, X.; Wu, D. Monitoring Surface Soil Moisture Content over the Vegetated Area by Integrating Optical and SAR Satellite Observations in the Permafrost Region of Tibetan Plateau. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 183.

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