Statistical Characteristics of Simulated Radar Imagery from Bare Soil Surfaces: Effects of Surface Roughness and Soil Moisture Variability

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Abstract

The potential of high-resolution radar imagery to estimate various hydrological parameters, such as soil moisture, has long been recognized. Image simulation is one approach to study the interrelationships between the radar response and the underlying ground parameters. In order to perform realistic simulations, we incorporated the effects of naturally occurring spatial variability and spatial correlations of those ground parameters that affect the radar response, primarily surface roughness and soil moisture. Surface roughness and soil moisture images were generated for a hypothetical 100 x 100 m bare soil surface area at 1 m resolution using valid probability distributions and correlation lengths. These values were then used to obtain copolarized radar scattering coefficients at 2 GHz (L band) and 10 GHz (X band) frequencies using appropriate backscatter models, which were then converted to a digital number within 0–255 gray scale in order to generate radar images. The effect of surface roughness variability causes variability in the radar image, which is more apparent under smooth soil conditions. On the other hand, the inherent spatial pattern in soil moisture tends to cause similar patterns in the radar image under rougher soil conditions. The maximum difference between contrast-enhanced mean values of the radar image digital number due to moisture variations occurs at surface roughness values in the 1.5-2.0 cm range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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