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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336447

Title: A review of the applications of ASCAT soil moisture products

item BROCCA, LUCA - National Research Council - Italy
item Crow, Wade
item CIABATTA, LUCA - National Research Council - Italy
item MASSARI, CHRISTIAN - National Research Council - Italy
item DE ROSNAY, P. - European Centre For Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
item ENENKEL, M. - Columbia University
item HAHN, S. - Vienna University
item AMARNATH, GIRIRAJ - University Of Colombo
item CAMICI, STEFANIA - National Research Council - Italy
item TARPANELLI, ANGELICA - National Research Council - Italy
item WAGNER, W. - University Of Vienna

Submitted to: International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2017
Publication Date: 5/30/2017
Citation: Brocca, L., Crow, W.T., Ciabatta, L., Massari, C., De Rosnay, P., Enenkel, M., Hahn, S., Amarnath, G., Camici, S., Tarpanelli, A., Wagner, W. 2017. A review of the applications of ASCAT soil moisture products. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 10(5):2285-2306.

Interpretive Summary: Satellite-derived estimates of surface soil moisture availability are valuable for a range of agricultural applications including: irrigation scheduling, drought monitoring, numerical weather forecasting, and the optimization of fertilizer use. Since 2007, an operational, near-real-time soil moisture product has been produced using the Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT) sensor on board a series of weather satellites launched and operated by the European operational satellite agency. This paper provides the first comprehensive review of important agricultural, hydrologic and weather forecasting applications that have been enhanced by consideration of ASCAT soil moisture products. It also identifies product deficiencies that more advanced soil moisture products must address in order to advance the application of satellite-derived surface soil moisture within the coming decade.

Technical Abstract: Remote sensing of soil moisture has reached a level of good maturity and accuracy for which the retrieved products are ready to use in real-world applications. Due to the importance of soil moisture in the partitioning of the water and energy fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere, a wide range of applications can benefit from the availability of satellite soil moisture products. Specifically, the Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT) on board the series of Meteorological Operational (Metop) satellites is providing a near real-time (and long-term, 9+ years starting from January 2007) soil moisture product, with a nearly daily (sub-daily after the launch of Metop-B) revisit time and a spatial sampling of 12.5 and 25 km. This study firstly performs a review of the climatic, meteorological and hydrological studies that use satellite soil moisture products for a better understanding of the water and energy cycle. Specifically, the applications that consider satellite soil moisture product for improving their predictions are analysed and discussed. Moreover, four real examples are shown in which ASCAT soil moisture observations have been successfully applied towards: 1) numerical weather prediction, 2) rainfall estimation, 3) flood forecasting, and 4) drought monitoring and prediction. Finally, the strengths and limitations of ASCAT soil moisture products and the way forward for fully exploiting these data in real world applications are discussed.