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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Leveraging Remote Sensing, Land Surface Modeling and Ground-based Observations ... Variables within Heterogeneous Agricultural Landscapes

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Comparison between SMOS, VUA, ASCAT, and ECMWF soil moisture products over four watersheds in the U.S.

Authors
item Leroux, Delphine -
item Kerr, Yann -
item Bitar, Alain -
item Gruhier, Claire -
item Bindlish, Rajat -
item Jackson, Thomas
item Berthelotd, Beatrice -
item Portet, Gauthier -

Submitted to: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2013
Publication Date: March 3, 2014
Citation: Leroux, D., Kerr, Y., Bitar, A., Gruhier, C., Bindlish, R., Jackson, T.J., Berthelotd, B., Portet, G. 2014. Comparison between SMOS, VUA, ASCAT, and ECMWF soil moisture products over four watersheds in the U.S. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 52:1562-1571.

Interpretive Summary: Soil moisture is critical information for weather forecasting and for monitoring crop condition and drought. A comparison of three satellite-based and one model-based soil moisture products was conducted over four watersheds located in the United States of America. Results of this inter-comparison indicated that the recently launched Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite retrievals were closest to the ground measurements, with an improvement of a factor 2 to 3 compared to the other products. The model-based product produced by the European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting had a very good correlation coefficient but a constant bias over the four networks. The study provides a basis for data product users to choose the most accurate information for their applications, which are focused primarily on the monitoring and assessment of floods and droughts.

Technical Abstract: As part of the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) validation process, a comparison of three satellite and one model soil moisture products was conducted over four watersheds located in the United States of America. The four products were compared for 2010 over in situ soil moisture networks that have previously been used for the calibration of AMSR-E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer). Results of this inter-comparison indicated that SMOS retrievals were closest to the ground measurements with a low average Root Mean Square Error of 0.052 m3/m3 for the morning and 0.073 m3/m3 for the afternoon, which represents an improvement of a factor 2 to 3 compared to the other products. The ECMWF (European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting) product had a very good correlation coefficient but a constant bias of 0.1-0.2 m3/m3over the four networks. The LPRM (Land Parameter Retrieval Model) AMSR-E product gave reasonable results but had a variable bias over the year that was correlated to the vegetation and the soil temperature. The ASCAT (Advanced Scatterometer) soil moisture index was found to be very noisy and unstable.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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