The dynamics of active layer soil moisture over Canadian Arctic tundra in Trail Valley Creek, NT, observed in-situ and with remote sensing

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Humphrey, Rachel
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University of Guelph

SAR remote sensing offers a technology potentially capable of capturing information about soil moisture at high spatial and temporal resolutions. This method has been shown to be effective in lower latitude environments however there has been a lack of investigation in arctic environments, particularly in organic permafrost soils. A preliminary analysis was performed at Trail Valley Creek, Northwest Territories, where an investigation of the statistical spatial variability of soil moisture and processes controlling soil moisture was completed. Both of these are key steps required for modeling soil moisture retrievals from satellites. Second, an assessment of the sensitivity of RADARSAT-2 backscatter to surface soil moisture conditions was completed to examine whether SAR can provide a much needed method to map soil moisture across the arctic. Results showed a strong relationship between backscatter and soil moisture (R2=0.688) and demonstrate the potential for SAR soil moisture retrieval in arctic ecosystems.

Remote Sensing, Soil Moisture, Arctic