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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 #374290

Research Project: Integrating Remote Sensing, Measurements and Modeling for Multi-Scale Assessment of Water Availability, Use, and Quality in Agroecosystems

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: A roadmap for high resolution satellite soil moisture applications - confronting product characteristics with user requirements

item PENG, J. - Oxford University
item ALBERGEL, C. - Collaborator
item BALENZANO, A. - Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
item BROCCA, L. - National Research Council - Italy
item CARTUS, O. - Collaborator
item Cosh, Michael
item Crow, Wade
item DABROWSKA-ZIELINSKA, K. - Collaborator
item DADSON, S. - Oxford University
item DAVIDSON, M.W.J. - European Space Agency
item DE ROSNAY, P. - European Centre For Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
item DORIGO, W.A. - Vienna University Of Technology
item GRUBER, A. - Collaborator
item HAGEMANN, S. - Collaborator
item HIRSCHI, M. - Eth Zurich
item KERR, Y. - Collaborator
item LOVERGINE, F. - Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
item MARZAHN, P. - University Of Munich
item MATTIA, F. - Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
item MUSIAL, J. - Collaborator
item PREUSCHMANN, S. - Collaborator
item REICHLE, R. - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item SATALINO, G. - Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
item SILGRAM, M. - Collaborator
item VAN BODEGOM, P.M. - Leiden University

Submitted to: Nature Reviews Earth & Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2020
Publication Date: 11/4/2020
Citation: Peng, J., Albergel, C., Balenzano, A., Brocca, L., Cartus, O., Cosh, M.H., Crow, W.T., Dabrowska-Zielinska, K., Dadson, S., Davidson, M., De Rosnay, P., Dorigo, W., Gruber, A., Hagemann, S., Hirschi, M., Kerr, Y., Lovergine, F., Marzahn, P., Mattia, F., Musial, J., Preuschmann, S., Reichle, R., Satalino, G., Silgram, M., Van Bodegom, P. 2020. A roadmap for high resolution satellite soil moisture applications - confronting product characteristics with user requirements. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. 252:112162.

Interpretive Summary: Recent progress in remote sensing science has greatly improved the quality and availability of satellite-derived surface soil moisture products. These products are of potential value for a range of water resource, climate and agricultural applications. However, the actual operational use of these products is only just beginning and critical gaps remain between what existing satellites can provide and decision support requirements (required to support on-the-ground applications). This paper reviews the state-of-the-art in existing satellite-derived soil moisture products and describes the attributes of these products (e.g., their accuracy, spatial resolution and temporal frequency) relative to existing application requirements. As such, it provides important guidelines for defining requirements for next-generation remote sensors. Spatial resolution, in particular, emerges as an important limiting factor for the application of existing satellite-based products and a critical target for future missions to improve upon. This paper will be used by the designers of future satellite sensors to maximize the value of resulting soil moisture data products for important agricultural and water use applications.

Technical Abstract: Soil moisture observations are of broad scientific interest and practical value for a wide range of applications. The scientific community has made significant progress in estimating soil moisture from satellite-based Earth observation data, particularly in operationalizing coarse-resolution (25-50 km) soil moisture products. This review summarizes existing applications of satellite-derived soil moisture products and identifies gaps between the characteristics of currently available soil moisture products and the application requirements from various disciplines. We discuss the efforts devoted to the generation of high-resolution soil moisture products from satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data such as Sentinel-1 C-band backscatter observations and/or through downscaling of existing coarse-resolution microwave soil moisture products. Open issues and future opportunities of satellite-derived soil moisture are discussed, providing guidance for further development of operational soil moisture products and bridging the gap between the soil moisture user and supplier communities.