Improved observation and modelling of bare soil surfaces for soil moisture retrieval

Thuy Le Toan, Malcolm Davidson, Francesco Mattia, Pierre Borderies, Isabelle Chenerie, Terhikki Manninen, Maurice Borgeaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

11 Citations (Scopus)


Since the launch of ERS-1 in 1991, a number of studies have yielded experimental correlations between the observed radar backscatter and soil moisture prevalent at the time of the image acquisition. However at the same time these empirical results appear to be both site and time dependent and difficult to generalise unless the resolution is degraded in order to average out roughness influences. Surface roughness is known to play an important role in the scattering of electromagnetic waves from natural surfaces. The relative sensitivity of the radar backscatter to surface roughness compared to that of the soil moisture depends on the wave characteristics (frequency, polarisation, incidence) and on the geometric and dielectric properties of the soil surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
JournalEarth Observation Quarterly
Issue number62
Publication statusPublished - 1999
MoE publication typeB1 Article in a scientific magazine


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