SMOS and SMAP brightness temperature assimilation over the Murrumbidgee basin

Dominik Rains, Gabrielle J.M. De Lannoy, Hans Lievens, Jeffrey P. Walker, Niko E.C. Verhoest

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With the launch of the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission in 2009 and the Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) mission in 2015, a wealth of L-band brightness temperature (Tb) observations has become available. In this letter, SMOS and SMAP Tbs are assimilated separately into the Community Land Model over the Murrumbidgee basin in south-east Australia from April 2015 to August 2017. To overcome the seasonal Tb observation-minus-forecast biases, Tb anomalies from the seasonal climatology are assimilated. The use of climatologies derived from either SMOS or SMAP observations using either 2 years or 7 years of data yields nearly identical results, highlighting the limited sensitivity to the climatology computation and their interchangeability. The temporal correlation between soil moisture data assimilation results and in situ observations is slightly improved for top-layer soil moisture (+0.04) and for root-zone soil moisture (+0.05). The soil moisture anomaly correlation improves moderately for the top-layer soil moisture (+0.15), with a smaller positive impact on the root zone (+0.05).

Original languageEnglish
Article number8424465
Pages (from-to)1652-1656
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Data assimilation
  • hydrology
  • remote sensing
  • soil moisture

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