Fusing Microwave and Optical Satellite Observations to Simultaneously Retrieve Surface Soil Moisture, Vegetation Water Content, and Surface Soil Roughness

Yohei Sawada, Toshio Koike, Kentaro Aida, Kinya Toride, Jeffrey P. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Uncertainty in surface soil roughness strongly degrades the performance of surface soil moisture (SSM) and vegetation water content (VWC) retrieval from passive microwave observations. This paper proposes an algorithm to objectively determine the surface soil roughness parameter of the radiative transfer model by fusing microwave and optical satellite observations. It is then demonstrated in a semiarid in situ observation site. The roughness correction of this new algorithm positively impacted the performance of SSM (root-mean-square error reduced from 0.088 to 0.070) and VWC retrieval from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. Since this surface soil roughness correction may be transferrable to other microwave satellite retrieval algorithms such as those for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity and Soil Moisture Active Passive satellites, this new algorithm can contribute to many microwave earth surface observation satellite missions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6195-6206
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Microwave radiometry
  • satellite applications
  • soil
  • vegetation
  • water resources.

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