During the last decade, great progress has been made by the scientific community in generating satellite-derived global surface soil moisture products, as a valuable source of information to be used in a variety of applications, such as hydrology, meteorology and climatic modeling. Through the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative (ESA CCI), the most complete and consistent global soil moisture (SM) data record based on active and passive microwaves sensors is being developed. However, the coarse spatial resolution characterizing such data may be not sufficient to accurately represent the moisture conditions. The objective of this work is to assess the quality of the CCI Essential Climate Variable (ECV) SM product by using finer spatial resolution Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) Wide Swath and in situ
soil moisture data taken over three regions in Europe. Ireland, Spain, and Finland have been selected with the aim of assessing the spatial and temporal representativeness of the ECV SM product over areas that differ in climate, topography, land cover and soil type. This approach facilitated an understanding of the extent to which geophysical factors, such as soil texture, terrain composition and altitude, affect the retrieved ECV SM product values. A good temporal and spatial agreement has been observed between the three soil moisture datasets for the Irish and Spanish sites, while poorer results have been found at the Finnish sites. Overall, the two different satellite derived products capture the soil moisture temporal variations well and are in good agreement with each other.
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