Effect of Water Content on Brightness Temperature and Emissivity of Soil for Passive Remote Sensing Applications


The relative complex dielectric constant (Ɛr= Ɛ1- jƐ2) of a number of sandy soil samples from the Markib seashore, in Libya has been measured as a function of moisture content at microwave frequency in the X-band (f=10.7 GHz, λ=2.8 cm) and L-band (f=1.4 GHz, λ=21 cm). A knowledge of the complex dielectric constant of soils is essential in the interpretation of microwave airborne radiometer data of the Earth's surface. The reflectivity and emissivity of smooth surface have been calculated in both polarizations at various nadir angles using the measured laboratory data. It has been found that the emissivity decreases at larger angles of incidence for horizontal polarization, whereas it increases at vertical polarization with increasing incidence angle to a maximum at the Brewster angle. It has also been observed that the incidence angle, at which the Brewster angle occurs, shifts toward grazing for higher percent moisture content. The brightness temperature of dry and wet soil has been computed in both horizontal and vertical polarization mode as a function of physical temperature and dielectric constant of each soil with varying moisture content. The brightness temperature of dry and wet soil depend on dielectric constant, physical properties, polarization and the angle of incidence of microwaves. These facts are especially important and can be used as diagnostic tool for water prospecting in deserts.