Remote Sensing, 01 October 2018, Vol.10(10), p.1637
L-band radiometer measurements were performed at the Selhausen remote sensing field laboratory (Germany) over the entire growing season of a winter wheat stand. L-band microwave observations were collected over two different footprints within a homogenous winter wheat stand in order to disentangle the emissions originating from the soil and from the vegetation. Based on brightness temperature (TB) measurements performed over an area consisting of a soil surface covered by a reflector (i.e., to block the radiation from the soil surface), vegetation optical depth (τ) information was retrieved using the tau-omega (τ-ω) radiative transfer model. The retrieved τ appeared to be clearly polarization dependent, with lower values for horizontal (H) and higher values for vertical (V) polarization. Additionally, a strong dependency of τ on incidence angle for the V polarization was observed. Furthermore, τ indicated a bell-shaped temporal evolution, with lowest values during the tillering and senescence stages, and highest values during flowering of the wheat plants. The latter corresponded to the highest amounts of vegetation water content (VWC) and largest leaf area index (LAI). To show that the time, polarization, and angle dependence is also highly dependent on the observed vegetation species, white mustard was grown during a short experiment, and radiometer measurements were performed using the same experimental setup. These results showed that the mustard canopy is more isotropic compared to the wheat vegetation (i.e., the τ parameter is less dependent on incidence angle and polarization). In a next step, the relationship between τ and in situ measured vegetation properties (VWC, LAI, total of aboveground vegetation biomass, and vegetation height) was investigated, showing a strong correlation between τ over the entire growing season and the VWC as well as between τ and LAI. Finally, the soil moisture was retrieved from TB observations over a second plot without a reflector on the ground. The retrievals were significantly improved compared to in situ measurements by using the time, polarization, and angle dependent τ as a priori information. This improvement can be explained by the better representation of the vegetation layer effect on the measured TB.
Microwave Remote Sensing ; Vegetation Optical Depth ; Soil Moisture ; Winter Wheat ; Smos ; Smap ; Tower-Based Experiment ; Inverse Modeling ; Geography
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
View full text in DOAJ