Compensating for Environmental Variability in the Thermal Inertia Approach to Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture

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  • 1 U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Ariz. 85040
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Abstract

A procedure is developed for removing data scatter in the thermal inertia approach to remote sensing of soil moisture that arises from environmental variability in time and space. It entails the utilization of nearby National Weather Service air temperature measurements to normalize measured diurnal surface temperature variations to what they would have been for a day of standard diurnal air temperature variation, arbitarily assigned to be 18°C. Tests of the procedure's basic premise on a bare loam soil and a crop of alfalfa indicate it to be conceptually sound. It is possible the technique could also be useful in other thermal inertia applications, such as lithographic mapping.

Abstract

A procedure is developed for removing data scatter in the thermal inertia approach to remote sensing of soil moisture that arises from environmental variability in time and space. It entails the utilization of nearby National Weather Service air temperature measurements to normalize measured diurnal surface temperature variations to what they would have been for a day of standard diurnal air temperature variation, arbitarily assigned to be 18°C. Tests of the procedure's basic premise on a bare loam soil and a crop of alfalfa indicate it to be conceptually sound. It is possible the technique could also be useful in other thermal inertia applications, such as lithographic mapping.

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