Accurate mapping of long-term global soil moisture is of great importance to earth science studies and a variety of applications. An approach for deriving volumetric soil moisture using satellite passive microwave radiometry from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) was developed in this study. Unlike the major AMSR-E retrieval algorithms that assume fixed scattering albedo values over the globe, the proposed algorithm adopts a weighted averaging strategy for soil moisture estimation based on a dynamic selection of albedo values that are empirically determined. The resulting soil moisture retrievals demonstrate more realistic global patterns and seasonal dynamics relative to the baseline University of Montana soil moisture product. Quantitative analysis of the new approach against in situ soil moisture measurements over four study regions also indicates improvements over the baseline algorithm, with coefficients of determination $(R2)$ between the retrievals and in situ measurements increasing by approximately 16.9% and 41.5% and bias-corrected root-mean-square errors decreasing by about 25.0% and 38.2% for ascending and descending orbital data records, respectively. The resulting algorithm is readily applied to similar microwave sensors, including the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2, and its retrieval strategy is also applicable to other passive microwave sensors, including lower frequency (L-band) observations from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Soil Moisture Active Passive mission.
|Number of pages
|IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
|Published - Jan 1 2016
- Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E)
- passive microwave remote sensing
- single scattering albedo
- soil moisture