Estimating surface soil moisture from SMAP observations using a Neural Network technique

J. Kolassa, R. H. Reichle, Q. Liu, S. H. Alemohammad, P. Gentine, K. Aida, J. Asanuma, S. Bircher, T. Caldwell, A. Colliander, M. Cosh, C. Holifield Collins, T. J. Jackson, J. Martínez-Fernández, H. McNairn, A. Pacheco, M. Thibeault, J. P. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A Neural Network (NN) algorithm was developed to estimate global surface soil moisture for April 2015 to March 2017 with a 2–3 day repeat frequency using passive microwave observations from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, surface soil temperatures from the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Model version 5 (GEOS-5) land modeling system, and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer-based vegetation water content. The NN was trained on GEOS-5 soil moisture target data, making the NN estimates consistent with the GEOS-5 climatology, such that they may ultimately be assimilated into this model without further bias correction. Evaluated against in situ soil moisture measurements, the average unbiased root mean square error (ubRMSE), correlation and anomaly correlation of the NN retrievals were 0.037 m 3 m −3 , 0.70 and 0.66, respectively, against SMAP core validation site measurements and 0.026 m 3 m −3 , 0.58 and 0.48, respectively, against International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN) measurements. At the core validation sites, the NN retrievals have a significantly higher skill than the GEOS-5 model estimates and a slightly lower correlation skill than the SMAP Level-2 Passive (L2P) product. The feasibility of the NN method was reflected by a lower ubRMSE compared to the L2P retrievals as well as a higher skill when ancillary parameters in physically-based retrievals were uncertain. Against ISMN measurements, the skill of the two retrieval products was more comparable. A triple collocation analysis against Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) and Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) soil moisture retrievals showed that the NN and L2P retrieval errors have a similar spatial distribution, but the NN retrieval errors are generally lower in densely vegetated regions and transition zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume204
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Data assimilation
  • Microwave radiometer
  • SMAP
  • Soil moisture remote sensing

Cite this

Kolassa, J., Reichle, R. H., Liu, Q., Alemohammad, S. H., Gentine, P., Aida, K., Asanuma, J., Bircher, S., Caldwell, T., Colliander, A., Cosh, M., Holifield Collins, C., Jackson, T. J., Martínez-Fernández, J., McNairn, H., Pacheco, A., Thibeault, M., & Walker, J. P. (2018). Estimating surface soil moisture from SMAP observations using a Neural Network technique. Remote Sensing of Environment, 204, 43-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.10.045