Comparing AMSR-E soil moisture estimates to the extended record of the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN)

Evan J. Coopersmith, Michael H. Cosh, Rajat Bindlish, Jesse Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Soil moisture plays an integral role in multi-scale hydrologic modeling, agricultural decision analysis, climate change assessments, and drought prediction/prevention. The broad availability of soil moisture estimates has only occurred within the past decade through a combination of in situ networks and satellite-driven remote sensing. The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) has provided a nationwide in situ resource since 2009. The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E), launched in 2002, is one of the satellite products available for comparison, but there are a limited number of years where the data records overlap. This study compares the results of modeled historical soil moisture estimates derived using USCRN precipitation data to the remotely sensed estimates provided by the AMSR-E satellite between 2002 and 2011. First, this work assesses the calibrated model's similarity to in situ estimates. Next, the model estimates and in situ measurements are shown to perform comparably well against the AMSR-E satellite product, suggesting that it may be possible to utilize modeled estimates at times and locations where satellite estimates are unavailable and further extend the soil moisture record spatially and temporally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • AMSR-E
  • Remote sensing
  • Soil moisture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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