The effects of scene heterogeneity on soil moisture retrieval from passive microwave data

Davenport, Ian J., Sandells, Melody and Gurney, Robert J. (2008) The effects of scene heterogeneity on soil moisture retrieval from passive microwave data. Advances in Water Resources, 31 (11). pp. 1494-1502. ISSN 0309-1708

#32919DavenportEtAl_AWR2008_prepub.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (326kB) | Preview
Official URL:


The τ–ω model of microwave emission from soil and vegetation layers is widely used to estimate soil moisture content from passive microwave observations. Its application to prospective satellite-based observations aggregating several thousand square kilometres requires understanding of the effects of scene heterogeneity. The effects of heterogeneity in soil surface roughness, soil moisture, water area and vegetation density on the retrieval of soil moisture from simulated single- and multi-angle observing systems were tested. Uncertainty in water area proved the most serious problem for both systems, causing errors of a few percent in soil moisture retrieval. Single-angle retrieval was largely unaffected by the other factors studied here. Multiple-angle retrievals errors around one percent arose from heterogeneity in either soil roughness or soil moisture. Errors of a few percent were caused by vegetation heterogeneity. A simple extension of the model vegetation representation was shown to reduce this error substantially for scenes containing a range of vegetation types.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Passive microwave, Soil moisture, Scene heterogeneity, Roughness, Vegetation, Water
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2021 13:16
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 15:05

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics