Remote and in situ measurements of soil and vegetation water content
AuthorHarlow, Robert C.
AdvisorShuttleworth, W. James
Ferre, Ty P. A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAccurate estimates of soil moisture are necessary to predict evapotranspiration, runoff, infiltration, and groundwater recharge and, through these variables, weather, climate, and fire and flood frequencies. This dissertation is motivated by the need to estimate soil water content from remotely sensed passive microwave emission. Two different approaches are taken: (1) improved modeling of the microwave emission from the land surface; and (2) measurements of the average dielectric properties of the soil media and vegetation canopies. Consequently, the first part of the dissertation describes how a stratified dielectric model of the microwave emission from the soil was extended to take into account the effects of vegetation. The model parameters were calibrated using observed data and a robust optimization routine. However, the availability of measurements of some of these parameters, particularly the profile of dielectric permittivity of the canopy, would facilitate a more complete evaluation of the accuracy of the extended microwave emission model. The second part of this dissertation describes progress towards the development of a technique to measure the dielectric of vegetation canopies. This technique is based on gated time domain transmission measurements through the substance of interest. Preliminary studies carried out using soils with varying salinity and water content and vegetation show (1) an unexpected response of the signal to saline soils, and (2) a possible dielectric signature of the onset of stress in plant stems.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources