High-resolution soil moisture monitoring across Australia: Opportunities for farming applications

Christoph Rüdiger, Imtiaz Dharssi, Malcolm McCaskill, Olivier Merlin, Allesadra Monerris, Elizabeth Morse-McNabb, Luigi John Renzullo, Dongryeol Ryu, Wolfgang Wagner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Remote sensing technologies have become an important tool to quantify large scale soil moisture variability on a near-daily basis, in particular for weather and climate applications, as well as national water accounting purposes. However, available soil moisture products were at spatial resolutions not suitable for precision agriculture and supporting of grower's decision making processes. Recent developments in satellite and ground-based sensing technologies are attempting to address this issue and to provide soil moisture products at and below 1km resolution, therefore becoming suitable for farming applications. Those products are derived through either disaggregation of coarse scale satellite observations using ancillary data, or proximal sensing measurements at high-resolution. In this study, we present and analyse the latest soil moisture products from three different platforms/methodologies: i) 1km-resolution, downscaled derived from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission; ii) sub-kilometre observations from ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite, and iii) roving GPS reflectometry data collected during a series of field experiments conducted in southern New South Wales. The advantages and shortcomings of the various techniques in terms of temporal and spatial resolution, need of ancillary data and availability, among others, will be discussed during the conference. A first overview of the accuracy of the different soil moisture products, based on comparisons with in-situ soil moisture stations in western Victoria and southern New South Wales (www.oznet.org.au) will also be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication36th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationThe Art and Science of Water
Place of PublicationNorth Melbourne VIC Australia
PublisherEngineers Australia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781922107497
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventHydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2015: The Art and Science of Water - Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 7 Dec 201510 Dec 2015
Conference number: 36th


ConferenceHydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2015
Abbreviated titleHWRS 2015
Other36th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium (HWRS 2015)
Internet address

Cite this

Rüdiger, C., Dharssi, I., McCaskill, M., Merlin, O., Monerris, A., Morse-McNabb, E., ... Wagner, W. (2015). High-resolution soil moisture monitoring across Australia: Opportunities for farming applications. In 36th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium: The Art and Science of Water (pp. 1002-1009). North Melbourne VIC Australia: Engineers Australia.