Use of microwave remote sensing data to monitor spatio temporal characteristics of surface soil moisture at local and regional scales
Hydrologic processes, such as runoff production or evapotranspiration, largely depend on the variation of soil moisture and its spatial pattern. The interaction of electromagnetic waves with the land surface can be dependant on the water content of the uppermost soil layer. Especially in the microwave domain of the electromagnetic spectrum, this is the case. New sensors as e.g. ENVISAT ASAR, allow for frequent, synoptically and homogeneous image acquisitions over larger areas. Parameter inversion models are therefore developed to derive bio- and geophysical parameters from the image products. The paper presents a soil moisture inversion model for ENVISAT ASAR data for local and regional scale applications. The model is validated against in situ soil moisture measurements. The various sources of uncertainties, being related to the inversion process are assessed and quantified.