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Book Sections Year : 2014

Statistical Characterization of Bare Soil Surface Microrelief

Edwige Vannier
Odile Taconet
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  • PersonId : 945396
Richard Dusséaux
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Olivier Chimi Chiadjeu
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  • PersonId : 937491


Because the soil surface occurs at the boundary between the atmosphere and the pedosphere, it plays an important role for geomorphologic processes. Roughness of soil surface is a key parameter to understand soil properties and physical processes related to substrate movement, water infiltration or runoff, and soil erosion. It has been noted by many authors that most of the soil surface and water interaction processes have characteristic lengths in millimeter scales. Soil irregularities at small scale, such as aggregates, clods and interrill depressions, influence water outflow and infiltration rate. They undergo rapid changes caused by farming imple‐ ments, followed by a slow evolution due to rainfall events. Another objective of soil surface roughness study is investigating the effects of different tillage implements on soil physical properties (friability, compaction, fragmentation and water content) to obtain an optimal crop emergence. Seedbed preparation focuses on the creation of fine aggregates and the size distribution of aggregates and clods produced by tillage operations is frequently measured. Active microwave remote sensing allows potential monitoring of soil surface roughness or moisture retrieving at field scale using space-based Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) with high spatial resolution (metric or decametric). The scattering of microwaves depends on several surface characteristics as well as on imagery configuration. The SAR signal is very sensitive to soil surface irregularities and structures (clod arrangement, furrows) and moisture content in the first few centimeters of soil (depending on the radar wavelength). In order to link the remote sensing observations to scattering physical models as well as for modelling purpose, key features of the soil microtopography should be characterized. However, this characteri‐ zation is not fully understood and some dispersion of roughness parameters can be observed in the same field according to the methodology used. It seems also, that when describing surface roughness as a whole, some information related to structured elements of the micro‐ topography is lost.
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hal-01023379 , version 1 (12-07-2014)



Edwige Vannier, Odile Taconet, Richard Dusséaux, Olivier Chimi Chiadjeu. Statistical Characterization of Bare Soil Surface Microrelief. Maged Marghany. Advanced Geoscience Remote Sensing, InTech, Chapitre 9: pp. 207-228, 2014, ISBN: 978-953-51-1581-6. ⟨10.5772/57244⟩. ⟨hal-01023379⟩
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