Articles | Volume 25, issue 3
Research article
29 Mar 2021
Research article |  | 29 Mar 2021

The benefit of brightness temperature assimilation for the SMAP Level-4 surface and root-zone soil moisture analysis

Jianxiu Qiu, Jianzhi Dong, Wade T. Crow, Xiaohu Zhang, Rolf H. Reichle, and Gabrielle J. M. De Lannoy


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Short summary
The SMAP L4 dataset has been extensively used in hydrological applications. We innovatively use a machine learning method to analyze how the efficiency of the L4 data assimilation (DA) system is determined. It shows that DA efficiency is mainly related to Tb innovation, followed by error in precipitation forcing and microwave soil roughness. Since the L4 system can effectively filter out precipitation error, future development should focus on correctly specifying the SSM–RZSM coupling strength.