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Effects of vegetation and soil texture on surface soil moisture retrieval using multi-temporal optical and thermal infrared observations

Leng, Pei, Song, Xiaoning, Li, Zhao-Liang, Wang, Yawei, Wang, Di
International journal of remote sensing 2015 v.36 no.19-20 pp. 4972-4985
clay fraction, models, remote sensing, soil texture, soil water, surfaces, vegetation cover
To retrieve surface soil moisture (SSM) content over natural surfaces quantitatively, the effects of vegetation and soil texture on a previously developed bare SSM retrieval model are evaluated using simulated data from the common land model (CoLM). The results indicate that (1) both the accuracy and the five model parameters of the previous SSM retrieval model show relatively consistent variations when the fractional vegetation cover (FVC) varies from 0 to 0.7; and (2) the SSM exhibits a generally significant and exponential relationship with the rotation angle when the clay content is lower than 30%, with the FVC ranging from 0 to 0.7. These findings make it possible to estimate SSM directly under the conditions that the underlying surface is in the presence of spatially variable FVC and soil texture. On this basis, we further confirm the feasibility of using the previous bare SSM retrieval model to estimate SSM for FVC varying from 0 to 0.7 with a clay content lower than 30%. For the simulated data on eight cloud-free days, the total root mean square error (RMSE) of the retrieved SSM and the coefficient of determination (R ²) are 0.033 m ³m ⁻³ and 0.758, respectively. Ultimately, a preliminary validation is conducted using the ground measurements at the Bondville site; an R ² = 0.328 and a RMSE = 0.058 m ³m ⁻³ are obtained for 14 cloud-free days.