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Error characterisation of global active and passive microwave soil moisture datasets

Dorigo, Wouter A. and Scipal, Klaus and Parinussa, Robert M. and Liu, Y.Y. and Wagner, Wolfgang and De Jeu, Richard A M and Naeimi, Vahid (2010) Error characterisation of global active and passive microwave soil moisture datasets. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 14 (12), pp. 2605-2616. Copernicus publicatios. DOI: 10.5194/hess-14-2605-2010. ISSN 10275606.

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Official URL: http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/14/2605/2010/hess-14-2605-2010.html

Abstract

Understanding the error structures of remotely sensed soil moisture observations is essential for correctly interpreting observed variations and trends in the data or assimilating them in hydrological or numerical weather prediction models. Nevertheless, a spatially coherent assessment of the quality of the various globally available datasets is often hampered by the limited availability over space and time of reliable in-situ measurements. As an alternative, this study explores the triple collocation error estimation technique for assessing the relative quality of several globally available soil moisture products from active (ASCAT) and passive (AMSR-E and SSM/I) microwave sensors. The triple collocation is a powerful statistical tool to estimate the root mean square error while simultaneously solving for systematic differences in the climatologies of a set of three linearly related data sources with independent error structures. Prerequisite for this technique is the availability of a sufficiently large number of timely corresponding observations. In addition to the active and passive satellite-based datasets, we used the ERA-Interim and GLDAS-NOAH reanalysis soil moisture datasets as a third, independent reference. The prime objective is to reveal trends in uncertainty related to different observation principles (passive versus active), the use of different frequencies (C-, X-, and Ku-band) for passive microwave observations, and the choice of the independent reference dataset (ERA-Interim versus GLDAS-NOAH). The results suggest that the triple collocation method provides realistic error estimates. Observed spatial trends agree well with the existing theory and studies on the performance of different observation principles and frequencies with respect to land cover and vegetation density. In addition, if all theoretical prerequisites are fulfilled (e.g. a sufficiently large number of common observations is available and errors of the different datasets are uncorrelated) the errors estimated for the remote sensing products are hardly influenced by the choice of the third independent dataset. The results obtained in this study can help us in developing adequate strategies for the combined use of various scatterometer and radiometer-based soil moisture datasets, e.g. for improved flood forecast modelling or the generation of superior multi-mission long-term soil moisture datasets.

Document Type:Article
Title:Error characterisation of global active and passive microwave soil moisture datasets
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Dorigo, Wouter A.wd@ipf.tuwien.ac.at
Scipal, KlausESA, ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Parinussa, Robert M.Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Hydrology and Geo-Environmental Sciences, Amsterdam Netherlands
Liu, Y.Y.Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Hydrology and Geo-Environmental Sciences, Amsterdam Netherlands
Wagner, Wolfgangww@ipf.tuwien.ac.at
De Jeu, Richard A MVrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Hydrology and Geo-Environmental Sciences, Amsterdam Netherlands
Naeimi, Vahidvahid.naeimi@dlr.de
Date:2010
Journal or Publication Title:Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:14
DOI:10.5194/hess-14-2605-2010
Page Range:pp. 2605-2616
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Fernández Prieto, D.UNSPECIFIED
van Oevelen, peterUNSPECIFIED
Su, Z.UNSPECIFIED
Wagner, WolfgangUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Copernicus publicatios
Series Name:Earth observation and water cycle science
ISSN:10275606
Status:Published
Keywords:Error estimations; Active and Passive microwaves; Remotely sensed soil moistur
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Fernerkundung der Landoberfläche
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
Deposited By: Dr.techn. Vahid Naeimi
Deposited On:06 Nov 2012 11:23
Last Modified:07 Feb 2013 20:18

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