Comparison of downscaling techniques for high resolution soil moisture mapping

Sabah Sabaghy, Jeffrey Walker, Luigi Renzullo, Ruzbeh Akbar, Steven Chan, Julian Chaubell, Narendra Das, R. Scott Dunbar, Dara Entekhabi, Anouk Gevaert, Thomas Jackson, Olivier Merlin, Mahta Moghaddam, Jinzheng Peng, Jeffrey Piepmeier, Maria Piles, Gerard Portal, Christoph Rudiger, Vivien Stefan, Xiaoling WuNan Ye, Simon Yueh

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Soil moisture impacts exchanges of water, energy and carbon fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere. Passive microwave remote sensing at L-band can capture spatial and temporal patterns of soil moisture in the landscape. Both ESA and NASA have launched L-band radiometers, in the form of the SMOS and SMAP satellites respectively, to monitor soil moisture globally, every 3-day at about 40 km resolution. However, their coarse scale restricts the range of applications. While SMAP included an L-band radar to downscale the radiometer soil moisture to 9 km, the radar failed after 3 months and this initial approach is not applicable to developing a consistent long term soil moisture product across the two missions anymore. Existing optical-, radiometer-, and oversampling-based downscaling methods could be an alternative to the radar-based approach for delivering such data. Nevertheless, retrieval of a consistent high resolution soil moisture product remains a challenge, and there has been no comprehensive intercomparison of the alternate approaches. This research undertakes an assessment of the different downscaling approaches using the SMAPEx-4 field campaign data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Cooperation for Global Awareness, IGARSS 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509049516
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017
Event37th Annual IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2017 - Fort Worth, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 201728 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)


Conference37th Annual IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Worth


  • comparison
  • downscaling
  • soil moisture


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