Passive L-band microwave soil moisture retrieval error arising from topography in otherwise uniform scenes

Melody J. Sandells*, Ian. J. Davenport, Robert. J. Gurney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Soil moisture is an important component of the water cycle and will be measured for the first time on a global scale by a dedicated passive L-band microwave radiometer that is planned for launch in 2008. Here, the contribution of topography to the error budget is examined for a vegetated scene with uniform microwave emission. Dual-polarization brightness temperature curves were generated over a range of look angles for 1-D scenes with simple geometrical features, and the soil moisture was retrieved assuming a flat surface. The errors were small for the scenarios considered. Theoretical errors were tested for realistic topography with a DEM transect of a mountainous region, and were found to be comparable. Knowledge of the mean slope from high-resolution DEM data can be used to improve the accuracy of the retrieval.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1433-1443
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Volume31
Issue number11
Early online date5 Feb 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

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