Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4203783, 8 pages
Research Article

Estimating Soil Moisture Distributions across Small Farm Fields with ALOS/PALSAR

1Faculty of Engineering, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagodo, Gifu City, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
2Institute of Industrial Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
3School of Agriculture, Meiji University, 1-1-1 Higashimita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan
4Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan

Received 14 April 2016; Accepted 21 June 2016

Academic Editor: Zhengyi Jiang

Copyright © 2016 Yuki Kojima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ALOS (advanced land observing satellite) has an active microwave sensor, PALSAR (phased array L-band synthetic aperture radar), which has a fine resolution of 6.5 m. Because of the fine resolution, PALSAR provides the possibility of estimating soil moisture distributions in small farmlands. Making such small-scale estimates has not been available with traditional satellite remote sensing techniques. In this study, the relationship between microwave backscattering coefficient () measured with PALSAR and ground-based soil moisture was determined to investigate the performance of PALSAR for estimating soil moisture distribution in a small-scale farmland. On the ground at a cabbage field in Japan in 2008, the soil moisture distribution of multiple soil layers was measured using time domain reflectometry when the ALOS flew over the field. Soil moisture in the 0–20 cm soil layer showed the largest correlation coefficient with (). The values also showed a strong correlation with the ground surface coverage ratio by cabbage plants. Our results suggested that PALSAR could estimate soil moisture distribution of the 0–20 cm soil layer across a bare field and a crop coverage ratio when crops were planted.