Publication Abstracts

Prigent et al. 1999

Prigent, C., W.B. Rossow, E. Matthews, and B. Marticorena, 1999: Microwave radiometric signatures of different surface types in deserts. J. Geophys. Res., 104, 12147-12158, doi:10.1029/1999JD900153.

In arid environments, specific microwave signatures have been observed with the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). For a given diurnal change in surface skin temperature, the corresponding change in the microwave brightness temperature is smaller than expected. With the help of a one-dimensional, time-dependent heat conduction model, this behavior is explained by microwave radiation coming from different depths in the soil, depending on the soil type and on the microwave radiation frequency. Using the 8-times daily estimates of the surface skin temperature by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and a simple Fresnel model, collocated month-long time series of the SSM/I brightness temperatures and the surface skin temperatures give a consistent estimate of the effective microwave emissivity and penetration depth parameters. Results are presented and analyzed for the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula, for July and November 1992. The case of the Australian desert is briefly mentioned. Assuming a reasonable thermal diffusivity from the soil in desert areas, the microwave radiation is estimated to come from soil layers down to depths of at least five wavelengths in some locations. Regions where the microwave radiation comes from deeper soil layers also have large microwave emissivity polarization differences and large visible reflectances, suggesting that these areas correspond to sand dune fields. Two soil classification datasets show good correspondence of sand dunes and the microwave signature of significant penetration. This suggests that this analysis of microwave observations can be used to map the sand dunes in large, poorly-surveyed deserts; a map of the sand dune fields in the Sahara and Saudi Arabia is derived from SSM/I observations.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

  author={Prigent, C. and Rossow, W. B. and Matthews, E. and Marticorena, B.},
  title={Microwave radiometric signatures of different surface types in deserts},
  journal={Journal of Geophysical Research},

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

ID  - pr04000r
AU  - Prigent, C.
AU  - Rossow, W. B.
AU  - Matthews, E.
AU  - Marticorena, B.
PY  - 1999
TI  - Microwave radiometric signatures of different surface types in deserts
JA  - J. Geophys. Res.
JO  - Journal of Geophysical Research
VL  - 104
SP  - 12147
EP  - 12158
DO  - 10.1029/1999JD900153
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 1999 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage