The Earth Observation Research Hub just published a new paper titled “Exploring Sentinel-1 backscatter time series over the Atacama Desert (Chile) for seasonal dynamics of surface soil moisture” by Tobias Ullmann, Thomas Jagdhuber (DLR & Uni. Augsburg), Dirk Hoffmeister (Uni. Köln), Simon Matthias May (Uni. Köln), Roland Baumhauer (Uni. Würzburg), and Olaf Bubenzer (Uni. Heidelberg) in the journal “Remote Sensing of Environment” (RSE).
In this contribution Sentinel-1 time series is compared to in situ soil moisture measurements and sediment-profile records across the Atacama Desert (Chile). For most locailties weak linear relationship between soil moisture and SAR intensities is found; however, exceptions are present for sites characterized by thick atmospheric dust deposits on top of subsurface cemented crusts. At these sites, strong inverse linear correlations (R² > 0.8) are found between soil mositure and SAR intensity. These anomalies are shown to be caused by subsurface scattering effects; low changes in soil moisture (around 2.5% on average) cause high changes in SAR intensity (up to 5.5 dB in VH).
Read the full article (open access) here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425722005193