A New Temperature-Vegetation Triangle Algorithm with Variable Edges (TAVE) for Satellite-Based Actual Evapotranspiration Estimation
Soil moisture is a vital parameter in various land surface processes, and microwave remote sensing is widely used to estimate regional soil moisture. However, the application of the retrieved soil moisture data is restricted by its coarse spatial resolution. To overcome this weakness, many methods were proposed to downscale microwave soil moisture data. The traditional method is the microwave-optical/IR synergistic approach, in which land surface temperature (LST), vegetation index and surface albedo are key parameters. However, due to the uncertainty in absolute LST estimation, this approach is partly dependent on the accuracy of LST estimation. To eliminate the impacts of LST estimation, an improved downscaling method is proposed in this study to downscale Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM) soil moisture product with visible and thermal data of Meteosat Second Generation (MSG)—Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI). Two temperature temporal variation parameters related to soil moisture, including mid-morning rising rate and daily maximum temperature time, are introduced in the proposed method to replace LST. The proposed method and the traditional method are both applied to the Iberian Peninsula area for July and August 2007. Comparison of the two results shows that the coefficient of determination (R-squared) has an average improvement of 0.08 and the root mean square error has a systematic decrease. The downscaled soil moisture by the proposed method was validated by REMEDHUS soil moisture network in the study area, and site specific validation gets poor correlation between the two datasets because of the low spatial representativeness of site measurement OPEN ACCESS Remote Sens. 2013, 5 6791 for one MSG-SEVIRI pixel. Although the comparisons at 15 km and network scale show an improvement over the site specific comparison, it is found that the downscaling method systematically degrades the accuracy in soil moisture data, with a R-squared of 0–0.4 and 0.218 for the downscaled data set against 0.7–0.8 and 0.571 for AMSR-E data at 15 km scale and the network scale respectively.