How well does AMSR-E capture soil moisture over Australia?
Clara Draper, Jeffrey P. Walker and Peter Steinle
Studies in sereral regions have indicated that data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Observing System (AMSR-E) onboard Aqua, can provide useful information regarding surface soil moisture content. Such information could be useful in a range of applications, including atmospheric modelling. Consequently, this paper presents an assessment of AMSR-E derived surface soil moisture over Australia, using the C-band (6.92 GHz) soil moisture product developed at the Free University of Amsterdam. The AMSR-E soil moisture is assessed by comparing time-series of individual pixels with in-situ data from soil moisture networks in the Goulburn River and Murrumbidgee River basins in south-east Australia, over 2005. The broad spatial behaviour of the AMSR-E soil moisture is also assessed through comparison to observed precipitation over Australia. Australia is well suited to testing AMSR-E soil moisture products, since frozen cover and vegetation are sparse across the country. Furthermore, radio frequency interference is not a significant problem over Australia, as it is in Europe and north America.