PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 198-213.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.02.003

• Special Column: Young Geographer Forum • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent advances of L-band application in the passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture and its prospects

Tianjie ZHAO()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2017-09-28 Revised:2018-01-30 Online:2018-02-28 Published:2018-02-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41301396;National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2016YFE0117300;Advanced Research Projects of the 13th Five-Year Plan of Civil Aerospace Technology


Soil moisture is an important boundary condition of land-atmosphere interactions and plays a major role in the Earth's water and energy cycles. It directly affects the hydrological processes such as precipitation, runoff, infiltration, and evapotranspiration, and can provide direct information for flood and drought monitoring. Accompanied by the continuous development of space science and technology, especially the successful launching of the first L-band satellite mission of Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) using passive microwave interference imaging technology, L-band passive microwave remote sensing has become a key tool in large-scale soil moisture mapping. New issues regarding L-band application including "detection and mitigation of radio frequency interference", "vegetation optical depth retrieval and vegetation effects correction", and "soil roughness parameterization" have been studied extensively. In this article, we summarize the latest research results of the project "Vegetation effects on soil moisture estimation using multi-angle observations at L-band" funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and review the research progress made regarding the above issues. The future development of soil moisture microwave remote sensing is also prospected. The review of the research progress and the prospect of the cutting-edge issues will be helpful for the demonstration and implementation of China's future satellite missions, and promote the microwave remote sensing of soil moisture and application in eco-hydrology studies at the global and regional scales.

Key words: passive microwave remote sensing, soil moisture, vegetation optical depth, soil roughness, L-band