Remote sensing of soil moisture using airborne hyperspectral data

GIScience and Remote Sensing
By: , and 



Landscape assessment of soil moisture is critical to understanding the hydrological cycle at the regional scale and in broad-scale studies of biophysical processes affected by global climate changes in temperature and precipitation. Traditional efforts to measure soil moisture have been principally restricted to in situ measurements, so remote sensing techniques are often employed. Hyperspectral sensors with finer spatial resolution and narrow band widths may offer an alternative to traditional multispectral analysis of soil moisture, particularly in landscapes with high spatial heterogeneity. This preliminary research evaluates the ability of remotely sensed hyperspectral data to quantify soil moisture for the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW), Georgia. An airborne hyperspectral instrument with a short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) sensor was flown in 2005 and 2007 and the results were correlated to in situ soil moisture values. A significant statistical correlation (R 2 value above 0.7 for both sampling dates) for the hyperspectral instrument data and the soil moisture probe data at 5.08 cm (2 inches) was determined. While models for the 20.32 cm (8 inches) and 30.48 cm (12 inches) depths were tested, they were not able to estimate soil moisture to the same degree.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Remote sensing of soil moisture using airborne hyperspectral data
Series title GIScience and Remote Sensing
DOI 10.2747/1548-1603.48.4.522
Volume 48
Issue 4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Contributing office(s) Center for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS)
Description 19 p.
First page 522
Last page 540
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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