Han, YZ; Bai, XJ; Shao, W; Wang, J (2020). Retrieval of Soil Moisture by Integrating Sentinel-1A and MODIS Data over Agricultural Fields. WATER, 12(6), 1726.

Soil moisture is an essential variable in the land surface ecosystem, which plays an important role in agricultural drought monitoring, crop status monitoring, and crop yield prediction. High-resolution radar data can be combined with optical remote-sensing data to provide a new approach to estimate high-resolution soil moisture over vegetated areas. In this paper, the Sentinel-1A data and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data are combined to retrieve soil moisture over agricultural fields. The advanced integral equation model (AIEM) is utilized to calculate the scattering contribution of the bare soil surface. The water cloud model (WCM) is applied to model the backscattering coefficient of vegetated areas, which use two vegetation parameters to parameterize the scattering and attenuation properties of vegetation. Four different vegetation parameters extracted from MODIS products are combined to predict the scattering contribution of vegetation, including the leaf area index (LAI), the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI). The effective roughness parameters are chosen to parameterize the AIEM. The Sentinel-1A and MODIS data in 2017 are used to calibrate the coupled model, and the datasets in 2018 are used for soil moisture estimation. The calibration results indicate that the Sentinel-1A backscattering coefficient can be accurately predicted by the coupled model with the Pearson correlation coefficient (R) ranging from 0.58 to 0.81 and a root mean square error (RMSE) ranging from 0.996 to 1.401 dB. The modeled results show that the retrieved soil moisture can capture the seasonal dynamics of soil moisture withRranging from 0.74 to 0.81. With the different vegetation parameter combinations used for parameterizing the scattering contribution of the canopy, the importance of suitable vegetation parameters for describing the scattering and attenuation properties of vegetation is confirmed. The LAI is recommended to characterize the scattering properties. There is no obvious clue for selecting vegetation descriptors to characterize the attenuation properties of vegetation. These promising results confirm the feasibility and validity of the coupled model for soil moisture retrieval from the Sentinel-1A and MODIS data.