Skip to main content

SAR imagery to estimate roughness parameters when modelling runoff risk

Buy Article:

$60.90 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The influence of the roughness of agricultural soil on runoff and erosion is a proven fact. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors should enable discrimination between plots with different cropping patterns. A study of Mediterranean vineyards in southern France was made, with the aim of obtaining a better understanding of the potential for using radar satellite data from ERS-1 when estimating roughness parameters. Roughness measurements enabled modelling of the backscattering coefficient (sigma0) of known surfaces, using the electromagnetic Integral Equation Model (IEM). The good correlation between ERS-1 and IEM data indicated the feasibility of extracting roughness parameters by means of remote sensing methods. Seven ERS-1 images were examined, corresponding to different stages in the development of vegetation and roughness. Two images were finally selected as they offered the possibility of discriminating between two factors: (1) the orientation of mechanical labour, which can be related toa periodic and stable roughness over time, and (2) cropping practices, corresponding to a random roughness pattern that changes with season. Both roughness parameters derived from SAR satellite data contribute additional data to runoff models a preferred runoff direction as defined by furrow direction, as well as the intensity of this runoff under the influence of random roughness. A rule for the behaviour of sigma0 in terms of furrow orientation is presented.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 10, 1999

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more