Radar backscattering sensitivity to soil moisture content of sugar beet fields

G. Schoups, P. A. Troch, N. Verhoest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to investigate the possibility of soil moisture retrieval from radar backscatter data in sugar beet fields. The analysis is based on a simulation study using two models capable of computing electromagnetic backscattering from a vegetated surface, viz. the model developed by Karam et al.1 and the model developed by Lang.2 First, we validate the models based on data from the AGRISCATT'88 field campaign, held in Flevoland, The Netherlands. The data collected during this coampaign allows us to test the model predictions under different soil surface and canopy conditions and for different radar configurations. In general, both models are capable of mimicing the change in backscattering due changes in radar configuration and surface-vegetation characteristics. Next, both models are subjected to a sensitivity analysis with respect to different surface and canopy parameters. Based on this sensitivity analysis it is concluded that estimates of surface soil moisture content under a medium sugar beet cover (15 cm high crop) from L-band radar observations is only possible within 10% accuracy. For a fully developed sugar beet field (50 cm high crop), soil moisture retrieval is not possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalEarth Surface Remote Sensing. Proc. SPIE conference, London, 1997
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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