The objective of this paper is to propose a combined approach for the high-precision mapping of soil moisture during the wheat growth cycle based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) (Radarsat-2) and optical satellite data (Landsat-8). For this purpose, the influence of vegetation was removed from the total backscatter by using the modified water cloud model (MWCM), which takes the vegetation fraction (
) into account. The VV/VH polarization radar backscattering coefficients database was established by a numerical simulation based on the advanced integrated equation model (AIEM) and the cross-polarized ratio of the Oh model. Then the empirical relationship between the bare soil backscattering coefficient and both the soil moisture and the surface roughness was developed by regression analysis. The surface roughness in this paper was described by using the effective roughness parameter and the combined roughness form. The experimental results revealed that using effective roughness as the model input instead of in-situ measured roughness can obtain soil moisture with high accuracy and effectively avoid the uncertainty of roughness measurement. The accuracy of soil moisture inversion could be improved by introducing vegetation fraction on the basis of the water cloud model (WCM). There was a good correlation between the estimated soil moisture and the observed values, with a root mean square error (RMSE) of about 4.14% and the coefficient of determination (
) about 0.7390.
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