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Compared performances of microwave passive soil moisture retrievals (SMOS) and active soil moisture retrievals (ASCAT) using land surface model estimates (MERRA-LAND)

Abstract : Performances of two global satellite-based surface soil moisture (SSM) retrievals with respect to model-based SSM derived from the MERRA (Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications) rea-nalysis were explored in this paper: (i) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS; passive) Level-3 SSM (SMOSL3) and (ii) the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT; active) SSM. Temporal correlation was used to investigate the performance of SMOSL3 and ASCAT SSM products during the period 05/2010–2012 on a global basis. Both SMOSL3 and ASCAT (slightly better) captured well (R>0.70) the long-term variability of the modelled SSM, particularly, over the Indian subcontinent, the Great Plains of North America, and the Sahel. However, ASCAT had negative correlations in arid regions, in particular across the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula. This may be due to complex scattering mechanisms over very dry surfaces. To explore the land cover dependence of the analyzed statistical indicators, the global correlation results were averaged per biome extracted from a global map of biomes. In general, SMOSL3 and ASCAT performances behaved differently from one biome to another. For SMOSL3, the highest average correlation was observed over “tropical semi-arid” (R = ∼ 0.5) and “temperate semi-arid” biomes, whereas for ASCAT, the highest correlations were observed over “tropical semi-arid” (R = ∼ 0.7) and “tropical humid” biomes. The poorest agreement for both SMOSL3 and ASCAT was generally found over “tundra” and “desert temperate” biomes, particularly for ASCAT. This study showed that the performance of both SMOSL3 and ASCAT is highly dependent on vegetation. We also showed that both of them provide complementary information on SSM, which implies a potential for data fusion which would be pertinent for the ESA climate change initiative (CCI).
Keywords : ASCAT
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 11:12:29 PM
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Amen Al Yaari, Jean-Pierre Wigneron, Agnès Ducharne, Yann H. Kerr, Wolfgang Wagner, et al.. Compared performances of microwave passive soil moisture retrievals (SMOS) and active soil moisture retrievals (ASCAT) using land surface model estimates (MERRA-LAND). IGARSS 2014, International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). USA., Jul 2014, Québec, Canada. ⟨10.1109/IGARSS.2014.6946971⟩. ⟨hal-02740508⟩

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