Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-182
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-182
04 Jul 2024
 | 04 Jul 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Soil moisture products consistency for operational drought monitoring in Europe

Jaime Gaona, Davide Bavera, Guido Fioravanti, Sebastian Hahn, Pietro Stradiotti, Paolo Filippucci, Stefania Camici, Luca Ciabatta, Hamidreza Mossaffa, Silvia Puca, Nicoletta Roberto, and Luca Brocca

Abstract. The roadmap to enable operational soil moisture (SM) monitoring for meteorologic and hydrological early warning is challenged by the uncertainty within the available remote sensing and modelling products. This study addressed two relevant uncertainties: the residual trends in the series and the spatial consistency. While the latter has been often revisited to validate remote sensing and modelling products against in-situ data, the former is often disregarded in studies addressing SM changes.

This study evaluated three SM products: (1) the Satellite Application Facility on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H SAF) active Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT)-derived dataset, (2) the passive subset of the European Space Agency (ESA) - Climate Change Initiative (CCIp), and (3) the modelled dataset from the European Drought Observatory (EDO). The analysis was carried out over Europe in the period 2007–2022 at 10-day temporal scales.

We obtained that even these popular datasets are subject to patches of spatial inconsistency and residual trends when compared to the in-situ data from the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN). In view of the great complementarity shown by the active and passive remote sensing and the modelled SM estimates, two merged products are proposed and tested against in-situ data. Results indicate that combining H SAF ASCAT, CCIp and EDO equals or surpasses the spatial and temporal consistency of the individual SM products alone, even when only the near-real-time products of H SAF ASCAT and EDO are combined. Thus, merging remote sensing and modelled SM products is advantageous for enhanced spatial and temporal operational monitoring of SM at the European scale.

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Jaime Gaona, Davide Bavera, Guido Fioravanti, Sebastian Hahn, Pietro Stradiotti, Paolo Filippucci, Stefania Camici, Luca Ciabatta, Hamidreza Mossaffa, Silvia Puca, Nicoletta Roberto, and Luca Brocca

Status: open (until 29 Aug 2024)

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Jaime Gaona, Davide Bavera, Guido Fioravanti, Sebastian Hahn, Pietro Stradiotti, Paolo Filippucci, Stefania Camici, Luca Ciabatta, Hamidreza Mossaffa, Silvia Puca, Nicoletta Roberto, and Luca Brocca
Jaime Gaona, Davide Bavera, Guido Fioravanti, Sebastian Hahn, Pietro Stradiotti, Paolo Filippucci, Stefania Camici, Luca Ciabatta, Hamidreza Mossaffa, Silvia Puca, Nicoletta Roberto, and Luca Brocca

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Short summary
Soil moisture is crucial for the water cycle since it is the frontline of drought. Satellite, model, and in-situ data help identify soil moisture stress but challenged by data uncertainties. This study evaluates trends and data coherence of common active/passive microwave sensors and model-based soil moisture data against in-situ stations across Europe from 2007 to 2022. Data reliability is increasing but combining data types improves soil moisture monitoring capabilities.