Development and Validation of The SMAP Enhanced Passive Soil Moisture Product

S. Chan, R. Bindlish, P.E. O'neill, T. Jackson, J. Chaubell, J. Piepmeijer, A. Dunbar, M. Cosh, F. Colliander, F. Chen, D. Entekhabi, S. Yeuh, M. Cosh, T. Caldwell, Jeffrey Walker, X. Wu, A. Berg, T. Rowlandson, P. Pacheco, H. McNairnM. Thibeault, J. Martinez-Fernandez, A. Gonzalez-Zamora, E. Lopez-Beaza, F. Uldall, M. Seyfried, David Bosch, Patrick Starks, Chandra D. Holifield Collins, J. Prueger, Z. Su, R. van der Velde, J. Asanuma, E. Palecki, E. Small, M. Zreda, J.C. Calvet, C. Crow, Y.H. Kerr

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Since the beginning of its routine science operation in March 2015, the NASA SMAP observatory has been returning interference-mitigated brightness temperature observations at L-band (1.41 GHz) frequency from space. The resulting data enable frequent global mapping of soil moisture with a retrieval uncertainty below 0.040 m3/m3 at a 36 km spatial scale.
This paper describes the development and validation of an enhanced version of the current standard soil moisture product. Compared with the standard product that is posted on a 36 km grid, the new enhanced product is posted on a 9 km grid. Derived from the same time-ordered brightness temperature observations that feed the current standard passive soil moisture product, the enhanced passive soil moisture product leverages on the Backus-Gilbert optimal interpolation technique that more fully utilizes the additional information from the original radiometer observations to achieve global mapping of soil moisture with enhanced clarity. The resulting enhanced soil moisture product was assessed using long-term in situ soil moisture observations from core validation sites located in diverse biomes and was found to exhibit an average retrieval uncertainty below 0.040 m3/m3. As of December 2016, the enhanced soil moisture product has been made available to the public from the NASA Distributed Active Archive Center at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2017)
Subtitle of host publicationJuly 23-28, 2017, Fort Worth, TX, USA
Place of PublicationGreenbelt
PublisherNASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event37th Annual IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2017 - Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 201728 Jul 2017
Conference number: 37


Conference37th Annual IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2017
Abbreviated titleIGARSS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Worth


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