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I'm working on determination of soil moisture by remote sensing. I would like to know how we can determine soil moisture index values from reflectance values in LANDSAT TM images.

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Please see related: – Aaron Dec 13 '12 at 22:59
thnks....but it doesn't give any info on how to do it in ERDAS imagine 2011.. – sowparnika Dec 14 '12 at 5:17

I would recommend calculating soil moisture indices from Landsat TM bands. MTRI has an interesting article on creating soil moisture index (SMI) from Landsat TM 5. Also, I would recommend exploring soil moisture estimates using TM band 6 (Thermal IR). Attached is a good tutorial on calculating indices from Landsat TM bands using ArcGIS 9.x (as you tagged). Although they are calculating NDVI and SAVI veg indices, you should have no problem using this tutorial and incorporating the SMI in the first article.

You may also be interested in radar remote sensing of soil moisture. There is a lot of active research in this subject.

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thnks..i will be doing soil moisture estimation using ENVISAT ASAR data in the phase two part of my work...using RADAR images for soil moisure estimation and comparing te results... – sowparnika Dec 14 '12 at 6:45

You can also use GRASS for this work, I have found that it provides robust results for indices calculation when atmospheric correction is applied as per the modules.

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