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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-21
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-21
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 25 Feb 2019

Review article | 25 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Evolution of the ESA CCI Soil Moisture Climate Data Records and their underlying merging methodology

Alexander Gruber1,2, Tracy Scanlon2, Robin van der Schalie3, Wolfgang Wagner2, and Wouter Dorigo2 Alexander Gruber et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium
  • 2Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 3VanderSat, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Abstract. The European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative for Soil Moisture (ESA CCI SM) merging algorithm generates consistent quality-controlled long-term (1978–2018) Climate Data Records for soil moisture which serves thousands of scientists and data users worldwide. It harmonises and merges soil moisture retrievals from multiple satellites into (i) an active-microwave-based only, (ii) a passive-microwave-based only, and a combined active-passive product, which are sampled to daily global images on a 0.25 degree regular grid. Since its first release in 2012 the algorithm has undergone substantial improvements which have so far not been thoroughly reported in the scientific literature. This paper fills this gap by reviewing and discussing the science behind the three major ESA CCI SM merging algorithm versions 2 (https://doi.org/10.5285/3729b3fbbb434930bf65d82f9b00111c; Wagner et al., 2018), 3 (https://doi.org/10.5285/b810601740bd4848b0d7965e6d83d26c; Dorigo et al., 2018a), and 4 (https://doi.org/10.5285/3a8a94c3fa464d68b6d70df291afd457; Dorigo et al., 2018b) and provides an outlook to the expected improvements planned for the next algorithm version 5.

Alexander Gruber et al.
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Alexander Gruber et al.
Data sets

ESA Soil Moisture Climate Change Initiative (Soil_Moisture_cci): Version 02.2 data collection W. Wagner, W. Dorigo, D. Chung, A. Gruber, S. Hahn, R. Kidd, Y. Y. Liu, T. Mistelbauer, R. Parinussa, C. Paulik, C. Reimer, R. Van der Schalie, R. De Jeu, T. Melzer, and M. Vreugdenhil https://doi.org/10.5285/3729b3fbbb434930bf65d82f9b00111c

ESA Soil Moisture Climate Change Initiative (Soil_Moisture_cci): Version 03.3 data collection W. Dorigo, W. Wagner, A. Gruber, T. Scanlon, S. Hahn, R. Kidd, C. Paulik, C. Reimer, R. Van der Schalie, and R. De Jeu https://doi.org/10.5285/b810601740bd4848b0d7965e6d83d26c

ESA Soil Moisture Climate Change Initiative (Soil_Moisture_cci): Version 04.2 data collection W. Dorigo, W. Wagner, A. Gruber, T. Scanlon, S. Hahn, R. Kidd, C. Paulik, C. Reimer, R. Van der Schalie, and R. De Jeu https://doi.org/10.5285/3a8a94c3fa464d68b6d70df291afd457

Alexander Gruber et al.
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Short summary
Soil moisture is a key variable in our Earth system. Knowledge of soil moisture and its dynamics across scales is vital for many applications such as the prediction of agricultural yields or irrigation demands, flood and drought monitoring, weather forecasting, and climate modelling. To date, the ESA CCI SM products are the only consistent long-term multi-satellite soil moisture data sets available. This paper reviews the evolution of these products and their underlying merging methodology.
Soil moisture is a key variable in our Earth system. Knowledge of soil moisture and its dynamics...
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