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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071030

Soil Moisture from Fusion of Scatterometer and SAR: Closing the Scale Gap with Temporal Filtering

1
Remote Sensing Research Group, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, TU Wien, 1040 Vienna, Austria
2
Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring (EODC), 1030 Vienna, Austria
3
Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection (IRPI), National Research Council (NRC), 06128 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 16 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
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Abstract

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). View Full-Text
Keywords: soil moisture; SAR; scatterometer; data fusion; scale gap soil moisture; SAR; scatterometer; data fusion; scale gap
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Bauer-Marschallinger, B.; Paulik, C.; Hochstöger, S.; Mistelbauer, T.; Modanesi, S.; Ciabatta, L.; Massari, C.; Brocca, L.; Wagner, W. Soil Moisture from Fusion of Scatterometer and SAR: Closing the Scale Gap with Temporal Filtering. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1030.

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