Behavior of multitemporal and multisensor passive microwave indices in Southern Hemisphere ecosystems

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 2014, 119 (12), pp. 2231 - 2244
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©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. This study focused on the time series analysis of passive microwave and optical satellite data collected from six Southern Hemisphere ecosystems in Australia and Argentina. The selected ecosystems represent a wide range of land cover types, including deciduous open forest, temperate forest, tropical and semiarid savannas, and grasslands. We used two microwave indices, the frequency index (FI) and polarization index (PI), to assess the relative contributions of soil and vegetation properties (moisture and structure) to the observations. Optical-based satellite vegetation products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer were also included to aid in the analysis. We studied the X and Ka bands of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS and Wind Satellite, resulting in up to four observations per day (1:30, 6:00, 13:30, and 18:00-h). Both the seasonal and hourly variations of each of the indices were examined. Environmental drivers (precipitation and temperature) and eddy covariance measurements (gross ecosystem productivity and latent energy) were also analyzed. It was found that in moderately dense forests, FI was dependent on canopy properties (leaf area index and vegetation moisture). In tropical woody savannas, a significant regression (R2) was found between FI and PI with precipitation (R2->-0.5) and soil moisture (R2->-0.6). In the areas of semiarid savanna and grassland ecosystems, FI variations found to be significantly related to soil moisture (R2->-0.7) and evapotranspiration (R2->-0.5), while PI varied with vegetation phenology. Significant differences (p-<-0.01) were found among FI values calculated at the four local times. Key Points Passive microwave indices can be used to estimate vegetation moisture Microwave observations were supported by flux data Passive microwave indices could be used to estimate evapotranspiration
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