Soil Moisture Estimation using Sentinel-1/-2 Imagery Coupled with cycleGAN for Time-series Gap Filing

Efremova, Natalia; Seddik, Mohamed El Amine and Erten, Esra (2022). Soil Moisture Estimation using Sentinel-1/-2 Imagery Coupled with cycleGAN for Time-series Gap Filing. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (Early access).



Fast soil moisture content (SMC) mapping is necessary to support water resource management and to understand crops’ growth, quality and yield. Thereby, Earth Observation (EO) plays a key role due to its ability of almost real-time monitoring of large areas at a low cost. This study aimed to explore the possibility of taking advantage of freely available Sentinel-1 (S1) and Sentinel-2 (S2) EO data for the simultaneous prediction of SMC with cycle-consistent adversarial network (cycleGAN) for time-series gap filling. The proposed methodology, first, learns latent low-dimensional representation of the satellite images, then learns a simple machine learning model on top of these representations. To evaluate the methodology, a series of vineyards, located in South Australia’s Eden valley are chosen. Specifically, we presented an efficient framework for extracting latent features from S1 and S2 imagery. We showed how one could use S1 to S2 feature translation based on Cycle-GAN using S1&S2 time series when there are missing images acquired over an area of interest. The resulting data in our study is then used to fill gaps in time series data. We used the resulting latent representations to predict SMC with various ML tools. In the experiments, cycleGAN and the autoencoders were trained with data randomly chosen around the site of interest, so we could augment the existing dataset. The best performance was demonstrated with random forest algorithm, whereas linear regression model demonstrated significant overfitting. The experiments demonstrate that the proposed methodology outperforms the compared state-of-the-art methods if there are missing optical and synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) images.

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