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The potential of the earth resource satellite (ERS) scatterometer for soil moisture monitoring over the Ukraine is investigated. The ERS scatterometer is a C-band radar with a spatial resolution of 50 km. An algorithm for estimating the surface soil moisture content is applied to six years of data. A qualitative comparison with meteorological observations and auxiliary information indicates a good quality of the remotely sensed surface wetness values. A simple method is developed to relate the surface estimates with the profile soil moisture content. This model requires as input the remote sensing data and soil data encompassing wilting level, field capacity, and porosity. The method was validated with an extensive data set of gravimetric soil moisture measurements in the 0-20 cm and 0-100 cm layers from the agrometeorological network in the Ukraine. It is found that the ERS scatterometer data can be used to distinguish about five soil moisture levels with confidence.

Additional information

Authors: WAGNER W, JRC Ispra (IT);LEMOINE G, JRC Ispra (IT);ROTT H, University of Innsbruck, Institute for Meteorology and Geophysics (AT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Remote Sensing of Environment (1998)
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