Local scale (3-m) soil moisture mapping using SMAP and Planet SuperDove

Jinyang Du, John S. Kimball, Rajat Bindlish, Jeffrey P. Walker, Jennifer D. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A capability for mapping meter-level resolution soil moisture with frequent temporal sampling over large regions is essential for quantifying local-scale environmental heterogeneity and eco-hydrologic behavior. However, available surface soil moisture (SSM) products generally involve much coarser grain sizes ranging from 30 m to several 10 s of kilometers. Hence, a new method is proposed to estimate 3-m resolution SSM using a combination of multi-sensor fusion, machine-learning (ML), and Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF) matching approaches. This method established favorable SSM correspondence between 3-m pixels and overlying 9-km grid cells from overlapping Planet SuperDove (PSD) observations and NASA Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) mission products. The resulting 3-m SSM predictions showed improved accuracy by reducing absolute bias and RMSE by ~0.01 cm3/cm3 over the original SMAP data in relation to in situ soil moisture measurements for the Australian Yanco region while preserving the high sampling frequency (1–3 day global revisit) and sensitivity to surface wetness (R 0.865) from SMAP. Heterogeneous soil moisture distributions varying with vegetation biomass gradients and irrigation regimes were generally captured within a selected study area. Further algorithm refinement and implementation for regional applications will allow for improvement in water resources management, precision agriculture, and disaster forecasts and responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3812
Number of pages16
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2022


  • CDF matching
  • Google Earth Engine
  • local scale
  • machine learning
  • Planet SuperDove
  • SMAP
  • soil moisture

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