Next Article in Journal
A Non-Extensive Statistical Mechanics View on Easter Island Seamounts Volume Distribution
Next Article in Special Issue
Vadose Zone Modeling in a Small Forested Catchment: Impact of Water Pressure Head Sampling Frequency on 1D-Model Calibration
Previous Article in Journal
Assessing Flood Hazard at River Basin Scale with an Index-Based Approach: The Case of Mouriki, Greece
Previous Article in Special Issue
Assessment of a Simplified Connectivity Index and Specific Sediment Potential in River Basins by Means of Geomorphometric Tools
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 51;

Spatially Distributed Evaluation of ESA CCI Soil Moisture Products in a Northern Boreal Forest Environment

Finnish Meteorological Institute, Space and Earth Observation Centre; Erik Palménin aukio 1, FI-00560 Helsinki, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology and Erosion)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4973 KB, uploaded 6 February 2018]   |  


Several previous studies have discussed the challenges in remotely sensed soil moisture retrievals over northern boreal environments. However, very few studies have focused solely on an evaluation of these products specifically over these areas. This study provides an in-depth evaluation of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Soil Moisture (SM) product and its components; ACTIVE and PASSIVE soil moisture retrievals. The performance of a spatially distributed soil moisture model (SAC-SMA) is first validated with in situ observations collected from the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s (FMI) multidisciplinary research center near the town of Sodankylä, in Northern Finland. SAC-SMA model top soil layer moisture estimates are then used for spatially distributed ESA CCI SM product evaluation. The study domain covers an area of 155 km by 140 km. Evaluation is performed for thawed/snow-free periods between 2003 and 2015. The ACTIVE product exhibits high correlations with SAC-SMA soil moisture estimates during most analyzed years. The presence of high inter-pixel soil moisture time series cross-correlation, even between pixels with very different soil/vegetation type distributions, as well as the inconsistent performance between analyzed years, is problematic. The PASSIVE product is able to more consistently capture the trend in soil moisture variation; although the trend is seemingly captured, the rapid response to precipitation events is less accurate. Our results indicate that, in contrast to other previous studies, despite the challenges, the ESA CCI SM products do exhibit reasonably good performance, and that further improvements, even with current Earth Observation methods, may be possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: ESA CCI Soil Moisture; Northern Boreal Environments; Evaluation; SAC-SMA Model ESA CCI Soil Moisture; Northern Boreal Environments; Evaluation; SAC-SMA Model

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ikonen, J.; Smolander, T.; Rautiainen, K.; Cohen, J.; Lemmetyinen, J.; Salminen, M.; Pulliainen, J. Spatially Distributed Evaluation of ESA CCI Soil Moisture Products in a Northern Boreal Forest Environment. Geosciences 2018, 8, 51.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Geosciences EISSN 2076-3263 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top