A Review of the Applications of ASCAT Soil Moisture Products

Brocca, Luca; Crow, Wade T.; Ciabatta, Luca; Ciabatta, Luca; Massari, Christian; De Rosnay, Patricia; Enenkel, Markus; Hahn, Sebastian; Amarnath, Giriraj; Camici, Stefania; Tarpanelli, Angelica; Wagner, Wolfgang, 2017, A Review of the Applications of ASCAT Soil Moisture Products, IEEE journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing (Print) 10 (2017): 2285–2306. doi_10.1109/JSTARS.2017.2651140,
URL: http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/374677

Remote sensing of soil moisture has reached a level of good maturity and accuracy for which the retrieved products are ready to use in real-world applications. Due to the importance of soil moisture in the partitioning of the water and energy fluxes between the land surface and the atmosphere, a wide range of applications can benefit from the availability of satellite soil moisture products. Specifically, the Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT) on board the series of Meteorological Operational (Metop) satellites is providing a near real time (and long-term, 9+ years starting from January 2007) soil moisture product, with a nearly daily (sub-daily after the launch of Metop-B) revisit time and a spatial sampling of 12.5 and 25 km. This study first performs a review of the climatic, meteorological, and hydrological studies that use satellite soil moisture products for a better understanding of the water and energy cycle. Specifically, applications that consider satellite soil moisture product for improving their predictions are analyzed and discussed. Moreover, four real examples are shown in which ASCAT soil moisture observations have been successfully applied toward_ 1) numerical weather prediction, 2) rainfall estimation, 3) flood forecasting, and 4) drought monitoring and prediction. Finally, the strengths and limitations of ASCAT soil moisture products and the way forward for fully exploiting these data in real-world applications are discussed.

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