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Proceedings Paper

A validation of a thermal inertia approach to map soil water content on soils characterized by low fractional cover
Author(s): Antonino Maltese; Fulvio Capodici; Goffredo La Loggia; Chiara Corbari; Marco Mancini
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Paper Abstract

The assessment of the spatial distribution of soil water content could improve the effectiveness of agro-hydrological models. Although it is possible to retrieve the spatial distribution of the soil water content using thermal inertia, the main limit is its applicability to bare soils only. Recently, a variation of the thermal inertia approach has been setup also on vegetated soils characterized by low fractional cover. In particular, the methodology proposes to attenuate the solar radiation at the top of the canopy to the one reaching the soil trough an extinction factor. In situ data were acquired in June 2011 and July 2012 over two fields of maize and sunflowers; both were at their early growing stages. An airborneplatform provided images in the visible/near infrared and thermal infrared, both in day and night time. Results of the 2011 experiment demonstrated that the vegetation cover correction is required even with low fractional cover; indeed, not applying this correction would results in strong overestimation. The 2012 experiment (REFLEX) further validates the model on an independent dataset, thus, confirming the reliability of the methodology. Furthermore, a spatial resolution analysis highlighted that retrievals at low spatial resolution best compares with in situsoil water content than those obtained at high-resolution. Finally, the availability of a thermal image acquired after irrigating demonstrated the unreliability of the method when soil water content significantly changes between the two thermal acquisitions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 October 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8887, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XV, 88871M (16 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2029794
Show Author Affiliations
Antonino Maltese, Univ. degli Studi di Palermo (Italy)
Fulvio Capodici, Univ. degli Studi di Palermo (Italy)
Goffredo La Loggia, Univ. degli Studi di Palermo (Italy)
Chiara Corbari, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Marco Mancini, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8887:
Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XV
Christopher M. U. Neale; Antonino Maltese, Editor(s)

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