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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 563015, 14 pages
Research Article

Analysis of the Dielectric Constant of Saline-Alkali Soils and the Effect on Radar Backscattering Coefficient: A Case Study of Soda Alkaline Saline Soils in Western Jilin Province Using RADARSAT-2 Data

1Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
2Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received 26 February 2014; Revised 26 April 2014; Accepted 21 May 2014; Published 1 July 2014

Academic Editor: Catherine Ottle

Copyright © 2014 Yang-yang Li 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.


Soil salinity is a global problem, especially in developing countries, which affects the environment and productivity of agriculture areas. Salt has a significant effect on the complex dielectric constant of wet soil. However, there is no suitable model to describe the variation in the backscattering coefficient due to changes in soil salinity content. The purpose of this paper is to use backscattering models to understand behaviors of the backscattering coefficient in saline soils based on the analysis of its dielectric constant. The effects of moisture and salinity on the dielectric constant by combined Dobson mixing model and seawater dielectric constant model are analyzed, and the backscattering coefficient is then simulated using the AIEM. Simultaneously, laboratory measurements were performed on ground samples. The frequency effect of the laboratory results was not the same as the simulated results. The frequency dependence of the ionic conductivity of an electrolyte solution is influenced by the ion’s components. Finally, the simulated backscattering coefficients measured from the dielectric constant with the AIEM were analyzed using the extracted backscattering coefficient from the RADARSAT-2 image. The results show that RADARSAT-2 is potentially able to measure soil salinity; however, the mixed pixel problem needs to be more thoroughly considered.