Retrieving surface soil moisture from modis and AMSR-E data: A case study in Taiwan

C. F. Chen, Y. J. Lin, L. Y. Chang, N. T. Son

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Soil moisture is a key factor that controls the exchange of water between land surface evaporation and plant transpiration. Information on surface soil moisture variations in both time and spatial domains is important for numerous applications, especially agricultural and environmental monitoring. This study aimed at retrieving surface soil moisture from daily MODIS and AMSR-E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System) data. A case study was conducted in Taiwan for 2009. Data were processed using the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI). This index is developed based on an empirical analysis of the relationship between land surface temperature (LST) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data. The comparison between the TVDI results and the daily precipitation data collected from meteorological stations throughout the study area indicated that there were close relationships between the two datasets. The TDVI results (values range from 0 to 1) were converted to the same unit with the AMSR-E soil moisture data (i.e., g cm-3) by linear regression analysis between these two datasets. The results achieved by this analysis were soil moisture maps that had a better spatial resolution (1 km × 1 km) than the AMSE-E soil moisture data (25 km × 25 km). The soil moisture achieved by TVDI - AMSR-E regression analysis showed the comparable spatial patterns with those from the AMSR-E soil moisture data. A quantitative analysis between the soil moisture (deduced from TVDI-AMSR-E analysis) and the AMSR-E soil moisture data also reaffirmed significant correlations between the two datasets. This study has demonstrated a method of surface soil moisture retrieval from MODIS and AMSR-E data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
StatePublished - 2012
Event22nd Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, ISPRS 2012 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 25 Aug 20121 Sep 2012


  • MODIS data
  • Surface soil moisture
  • Taiwan


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