Impact of soil permittivity and temperature profile on L-Band microwave emission of frozen soil

Donghai Zheng*, X. Li, T. Zhao, J. Wen, R. Van Der Velde, M. Schwank, X. Wang, Z. Wang, Z. Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


An unexplored aspect of L-band microwave emission is the impact of soil moisture and soil temperature (SMST) profile dynamics on diurnal brightness temperature (TB) signatures of frozen soil. This study investigates this effect by comparing the TB simulations of layered (TB,l) and uniform (TB,u) soils using a newly developed integrated land emission model. The multilayer Wilheit model and the single-layer Fresnel model are adopted to compute the smooth soil reflectivity for the layered and uniform soils, respectively. A four-phase dielectric mixing model is used to calculate the soil permittivity (ϵₛ). A data set of concurrent ELBARA-III TB and SMST profile measurements performed in a seasonally frozen Tibetan meadow ecosystem is used for the analysis. The simulated TB,l considering SMST profile information captures well the ELBARA-III measurements with low biases (łe 6 K) and high correlations (R²≥ 0.88). TB,u produced based on the Fresnel model using the soil moisture of 2.5 cm is more consistent with the TB,l. The sensitivity test of averaging SMST profile below 2.5 cm leads to maximum differences of 2 K in TB,l simulations, indicating that the TB variations are primary dominated by the SMST dynamics at the surface layer. A sensitivity test of the Wilheit model to different ϵₛ parameterizations shows that the dielectric model of Zhang et al. is comparable to the four-phase dielectric model in simulating TB,l, while the Mironov et al.'s model demonstrates larger biases for frozen soil with, on average, 2.2% clay content, 49.7% sand content, and a bulk density of 1 g·cm⁻³.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9207846
Pages (from-to)4080-4093
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing
Issue number5
Early online date28 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021




Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of soil permittivity and temperature profile on L-Band microwave emission of frozen soil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this