To meet the demand of regional hydrological and agricultural applications, a new method named near infrared-red (NIR-red) spectra-based disaggregation (NRSD) was proposed to perform a disaggregation of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) products from 36 km to 250 m resolution. The NRSD combined proposed normalized soil moisture index (NSMI) with SMAP data to obtain 250 m resolution soil moisture mapping. This NRSD method was validated with the data from in situ OzNet network in May and September 2015. Results showed that NRSD performed a decent downscaling (root-mean-square error (RMSE) = 0.04 m3
and 0.12 m3
in May and September, respectively). Based on the validation, it was found that the proposed NSMI was a new alternative indicator for denoting the heterogeneity of soil moisture at sub-kilometer scales. Attributed to the excellent performance of the NSMI, NRSD has a higher overall accuracy, finer spatial representation within SMAP pixels and wider applicable scope on usability tests for land cover, vegetation density and drought condition than the disaggregation based on physical and theoretical scale change (DISPATCH) has at 250 m resolution. This revealed that the NRSD method is expected to provide soil moisture mapping at 250-resolution for large-scale hydrological and agricultural studies.
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