Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2017-196
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
10 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Comparing soil moisture anomalies from multiple independent sources over different regions across the globe
Carmelo Cammalleri, Jürgen V. Vogt, Bernard Bisselink, and Ad de Roo European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
Abstract. Agricultural drought events can affect large regions across the World, implying the urge for a suitable global tool for an accurate monitoring of this phenomenon. Soil moisture anomalies are considered a good metric to capture the occurrence of agricultural drought events, and they have become an important component of several operational drought monitoring systems. In the framework of the JRC Global Drought Observatory (GDO, http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/gdo/) the suitability of modelled and/or satellite-derived proxy of soil moisture anomalies was investigated. In this study, three datasets have been evaluated as possible proxies of root zone soil moisture anomalies: (1) soil moisture from the Lisflood distributed hydrological model (LIS), (2) remotely sensed land surface temperature data from the MODIS satellite (LST), and (3) the combined passive/active microwave skin soil moisture dataset developed by ESA (CCI). Due to the independency of these three datasets, the Triple Collocation (TC) technique has been applied, aiming at quantifying the likely error associated to each dataset in comparison to the unknown true status of the system. TC analysis was performed on five macro-regions (namely North America, Europe, India, Southern Africa and Australia) detected as suitable for the experiment, providing insight into the mutual relationship between these datasets as well as assessment of the accuracy of each method. A clear outcome of the TC analysis is the good performance of remote sensing datasets, especially CCI, over dry regions such as Australia and Southern Africa, whereas the outputs of LIS seem to be more reliable over areas that are well monitored through meteorological ground station networks, such as North America and Europe. In a global drought monitoring system, these results can be used to design an ensemble system that exploits the advantages of each dataset.

Citation: Cammalleri, C., Vogt, J. V., Bisselink, B., and de Roo, A.: Comparing soil moisture anomalies from multiple independent sources over different regions across the globe, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2017-196, in review, 2017.
Carmelo Cammalleri et al.
Carmelo Cammalleri et al.
Carmelo Cammalleri et al.

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Short summary
Drought can affect large regions of the World, implying the urge of a global monitoring tool. For the JRC Global Drought Observatory (GDO, http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/gdo/), 3 soil moisture anomalies datasets have been compared, in order to evaluate their consistency. The analysis performed on 5 macro-regions (North America, Europe, India, Southern Africa and Australia), suggests the need to combine these different data sources in order to obtain robust assessments over a variety of conditions.
Drought can affect large regions of the World, implying the urge of a global monitoring tool....
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