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Proceedings Paper

High-resolution soil moisture mapping in Afghanistan
Author(s): Jan M. H. Hendrickx; J. Bruce J. Harrison; Brian Borchers; Julie R. Kelley; Stacy Howington; Jerry Ballard
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Paper Abstract

Soil moisture conditions have an impact upon virtually all aspects of Army activities and are increasingly affecting its systems and operations. Soil moisture conditions affect operational mobility, detection of landmines and unexploded ordinance, natural material penetration/excavation, military engineering activities, blowing dust and sand, watershed responses, and flooding. This study further explores a method for high-resolution (2.7 m) soil moisture mapping using remote satellite optical imagery that is readily available from Landsat and QuickBird. The soil moisture estimations are needed for the evaluation of IED sensors using the Countermine Simulation Testbed in regions where access is difficult or impossible. The method has been tested in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, using a Landsat7 image and a QuickBird image of April 23 and 24, 2009, respectively. In previous work it was found that Landsat soil moisture can be predicted from the visual and near infra-red Landsat bands1-4. Since QuickBird bands 1-4 are almost identical to Landsat bands 1- 4, a Landsat soil moisture map can be downscaled using QuickBird bands 1-4. However, using this global approach for downscaling from Landsat to QuickBird scale yielded a small number of pixels with erroneous soil moisture values. Therefore, the objective of this study is to examine how the quality of the downscaled soil moisture maps can be improved by using a data stratification approach for the development of downscaling regression equations for each landscape class. It was found that stratification results in a reliable downscaled soil moisture map with a spatial resolution of 2.7 m.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8017, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XVI, 801710 (23 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.887255
Show Author Affiliations
Jan M. H. Hendrickx, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
J. Bruce J. Harrison, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Brian Borchers, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Julie R. Kelley, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Stacy Howington, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Jerry Ballard, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8017:
Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XVI
Russell S. Harmon; John H. Holloway; J. Thomas Broach, Editor(s)

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