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Assessment and inter-comparison of recently developed/reprocessed microwave satellite soil moisture products using ISMN ground-based measurements

Abstract : Soil moisture (SM) is a key state variable in understanding the climate system through its control on the land surface energy, water budget partitioning, and the carbon cycle. Monitoring SM at regional scale has become possible thanks to microwave remote sensing. In the past two decades, several satellites were launched carrying on board either radiometer (passive) or radar (active) or both sensors in different frequency bands with various spatial and temporal resolutions. Soil moisture algorithms are in rapid development and their improvements/revisions are ongoing. The latest SM retrieval products and versions of products that have been recently released are not yet, to our knowledge, comprehensively evaluated and inter-compared over different ecoregions and climate conditions. The aim of this paper is to comprehensively evaluate the most recent microwave-based SM retrieval products available from NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite, ESA's led mission (European Space Agency) SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) satellite, ASCAT (Advanced Scatterometer) sensor on board the meteorological operational (Metop) platforms Metop-A and Metop-B, and the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) blended long-term SM time series. More specifically, in this study we compared SMAPL3 V4, SMOSL3 V300, SMOSL2 V650, ASCAT H111, and CCI V04.2 and the new SMOS-IC (V105) SM product. This evaluation was achieved using four statistical scores: Pearson correlation (considering both original observations and anomalies), RMSE, unbiased RMSE, and Bias between remotely-sensed SM retrievals and ground-based measurements from >1000 stations from 17 monitoring networks, spread over the globe, disseminated through the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN). The analysis reveals that the performance of the remotely-sensed SM retrievals generally varies depending on ecoregions, land cover types, climate conditions, and between the monitoring networks. It also reveals that temporal sampling of the data, the frequency of data in time and the spatial coverage, affect the performance metrics. Overall, the performance of SMAP and SMOS-IC products compared slightly better with respect to the ISMN in situ observations than the other remotely-sensed products.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 10:39:51 AM
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A. Al-Yaari, J.-P. Wigneron, W. Dorigo, A. Colliander, T. Pellarin, et al.. Assessment and inter-comparison of recently developed/reprocessed microwave satellite soil moisture products using ISMN ground-based measurements. Remote Sensing of Environment, Elsevier, 2019, 224, pp.289-303. ⟨10.1016/j.rse.2019.02.008⟩. ⟨hal-02402614⟩

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