Remote sensing land surface wetness by use of TRMM/TMI microwave data Academic Article uri icon


  • The water cycle analysis is the most important part of the GEWEX project. In the water cycle analysis, the land surface wetness information plays an important role. TRMM/TMI is a new kind of microwave image unit, and has great potential application in land characteristics analysis, especially in remote sensing of land surface wetness information and the monitoring of flood and drought situations. In this study, the wetness index analysis method was used to analysis surface wetness during the summer of 1998 over Boyang and Tongting lake area in China, and we retrieved the land surface emissivity over the same area to estimate the land surface wetness. To accomplish this, we have first studied the TRMM/TMI forward characteristics. By using the VIDSORT model, we developed wetness indexes BWI by combining three window channels of TRMM/TMI. According to our analysis results, the wetness BWI10 are better than the other indexes. So we use the best wetness indexes (BW110) sensitive to the land surface wetness changes to do our flood classification and monitoring. In our calibration/validation test, the data from the China L-SAR (located on an airplane) and the Canadian Radar-SAR aboard on the Radarsat were used. At the same time we also have tried to retrieve the surface microwave emissivity from the TMI data. We use the emissivity product to estimate the land surface wetness, and we also got a good result. Future work will focus on investigating possible improvements to the algorithm and extending the testing of the algorithm to other regions.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gu, S., Gao, H., Zhu, Y., Zhao, B., Lu, N., & Zhang, W.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Gu, S||Gao, H||Zhu, Y||Zhao, B||Lu, N||Zhang, W

publication date

  • June 2002