Soil Moisture from Fusion of Scatterometer and SAR: Closing the Scale Gap with Temporal Filtering
Soil moisture is a key environmental variable, important to e.g., farmers, meteorologists, and disaster management units. We fuse surface soil moisture (SSM) estimates from spatio-temporally complementary radar sensors through temporal filtering of their joint signal and obtain a kilometre-scale, daily soil water content product named SCATSAR-SWI. With 25 km Metop ASCAT SSM and 1 km Sentinel-1 SSM serving as input, the SCATSAR-SWI is globally applicable and achieves daily full coverage over operated areas. We employ a near-real-time-capable SCATSAR-SWI algorithm on a fused 3 year ASCAT-Sentinel-1-SSM data cube over Italy, obtaining a consistent set of model parameters, unperturbed by coverage discontinuities. An evaluation of a therefrom generated SCATSAR-SWI dataset, involving a 1 km Soil Water Balance Model (SWBM) over Umbria, yields comprehensively high agreement with the reference data (median R = 0.61 vs. in situ; 0.71 vs. model; 0.83 vs. ASCAT SSM). While the Sentinel-1 signal is attenuated to some extent, the ASCAT\’s signal dynamics are fully transferred to the SCATSAR-SWI and benefit from the Sentinel-1 parametrisation. Using the SM2RAIN approach, the SCATSAR-SWI shows excellent capability to reproduce 5 day-accumulated rainfall over Italy, with R = 0.89 against observed rainfall. The SCATSAR-SWI is currently in preparation towards operational product dissemination in the Copernicus Global Land Service (CGLS).
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