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Proceedings Paper

Estimating soil properties from microwave measurements of soil moisture
Author(s): Nandish M. Mattikalli; Edwin T. Engman; Laj Ahuja; Thomas J. Jackson
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Paper Abstract

This paper demonstrates that the soil physical properties can be estimated using temporal variation of surface soil moisture derived from remote sensing. Passive microwave remote sensing was employed to collect daily soil moisture data across the Little Washita watershed, Oklahoma, for the period between June 10-18, 1992. The ESTAR instrument operating at L band was flown on a NASA C-130 aircraft. Brightness temperature data collected at a ground resolution of 200 m were used to derive the spatial distribution of surface soil moisture. Analysis of temporal soil moisture information and soils data reveals a direct relationship between changes in soil moisture and soil texture. Areas identified by loam/silt loam soils are characterized by higher changes of total soil moisture and those of sand/sandy loam by remarkably lower amounts. Analysis suggests that two-day initial drainage of soil, measured from remote sensing, is related to saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat). A methodology has been developed to employ remotely sensed data for estimation of profile Ksat using a hydrologic model and a GIS. Model simulations have yielded good correlations between soil moisture change and Ksat. The results have potential applications to obtain quick estimates of spatial distributions of soil properties over large area for input to mesoscale hydrologic and global circulation models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 November 1995
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2585, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources, (24 November 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.227172
Show Author Affiliations
Nandish M. Mattikalli, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Edwin T. Engman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Laj Ahuja, USDA-Agricultural Research Service (United States)
Thomas J. Jackson, USDA-Agricultural Research Service (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2585:
Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources
Edwin T. Engman; Gerard Guyot; Carlo M. Marino, Editor(s)

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