Abstract

We analyzed 2000–2004 growing-season SeaWinds Ku-band microwave backscatter and MODIS leaf area index (LAI) data over North America. Large anomalies in mid-growing-season mean backscatter and LAI, relative to 5-year mean values, occurred primarily in the western Great Plains; backscatter and LAI anomalies had similar spatial patterns across this region. Backscatter and LAI time series data for three ∼103 km2 regions in the western Great Plains were strongly correlated (r2 ∼ 0.6–0.8), and variability in mid-growing season values was well-correlated with annual precipitation (October through September). The results indicate that SeaWinds backscatter is sensitive to interannual variability in grassland biomass/productivity, and can provide an assessment that is completely independent of optical/near-infrared remote sensing instruments.

Publication Date

11-2005

Journal Title

Geophysical Research Letters

Publisher

Wiley

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1029/2005GL024230

Document Type

Article

Rights

Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

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