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59 Estimation of Soil Properties Using Hyperspectral VIS/IR Sensors

Part 5. Remote Sensing

  1. Alfredo R Huete

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa064

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Huete, A. R. 2006. Estimation of Soil Properties Using Hyperspectral VIS/IR Sensors. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 5:59.

Author Information

  1. University of Arizona, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, Tucson, AZ, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Knowledge of soil properties and processes are crucial to the understanding of the terrestrial hydrologic cycle and the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. In this paper, we present the current state and potential of hyperspectral remote sensing techniques for quantitative retrieval of soil properties. Remote sensing is used to detect chemical and physical soil properties either (i) directly from the bare soil pixels, (ii) through advanced spectroscopy methods in mixed “soil-vegetation-litter” pixels, and (iii) by measurements of the overlying vegetated canopy to infer soil properties and moisture status. Optical-geometric properties of soil surfaces reveal information on soil physical features, such as soil structure, crusting, and erosion. We also investigate the use of vegetation water indices to infer soil drying and wetting in the soil root zone. We conclude with a discussion on future needs and directions for remote sensing of soil properties.


  • soil properties;
  • hyperspectral remote sensing;
  • vegetation water indices;
  • soil moisture;
  • salinity;
  • soil structure;
  • organic matter;
  • mineralogy