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Spatial and temporal patterns of surface soil moisture over India estimated using surface wetness index from SSM/I microwave radiometer

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Results from an approach to infer surface soil moisture from time series analysis of surface wetness index derived using the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) are presented. Soil moisture quantification was based on the study of temporal changes in surface wetness index and its scaling to maximum and air-dry limits of soil in each grid cell (0.33°). The estimated soil moisture of Illinois, USA was compared with field measured soil moisture (0–10?cm) obtained from the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank. A root mean square error of 7.18% was found between estimated and measured volumetric soil moisture. A consistency in soil moisture and rainfall pattern was found in the un-irrigated areas of northern India (Jodhpur, Varanasi) and southern India (Madurai), influenced by southwest and northeast monsoons, respectively. Soil moisture of more than 0.30 m 3 m -3 was observed in the absence of rainfall due to the irrigation of rice crop in (Punjab) during the pre-southwest monsoon period (May).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun 248001, India

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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