Articles | Volume 12, issue 6
12 Dec 2008
 | 12 Dec 2008

On the comparison between the LISFLOOD modelled and the ERS/SCAT derived soil moisture estimates

G. Laguardia and S. Niemeyer

Abstract. In order to evaluate the reliability of the soil moisture product obtained by means of the LISFLOOD hydrological model (De Roo et al., 2000), we compare it to soil moisture estimates derived from ERS scatterometer data (Wagner et al., 1999b).

Once evaluated the effect of scale mismatch, we calculate the root mean square error and the correlation between the two soil moisture time series on a pixel basis and we assess the fraction of variance that can be explained by a set of input parameter fields that vary from elevation and soil depth to rainfall statistics and missing or snow covered ERS images.

The two datasets show good agreement over large regions, with 90% of the area having a positive correlation coefficient and 66% having a root mean square error minor than 0.5 pF units. Major inconsistencies are located in mountainous regions such as the Alps or Scandinavia where both the methodologies suffer from insufficiently resolved land surface processes at the given spatial resolution, as well as from limited availability of satellite data on the one hand and the uncertainties in meteorological data retrieval on the other hand.