Rajabi-Kiasari, S; Hasanlou, M (2020). An efficient model for the prediction of SMAP sea surface salinity using machine learning approaches in the Persian Gulf. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 41(8), 3221-3242.

Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) is a pre-eminent parameter in oceanology causing extreme climate and weather events such as floods and droughts. Therefore, knowledge discovery of SSS is increasingly becoming a fundamental problem in recent years. However, not only the inadequacy of in-situ SSS data in large ocean basins are hampering conduction of detailed analyses of patterning SSS variations but also conventional data-gathering techniques for SSS estimation are often too expensive and time-consuming to meet the amount of data required in SSS estimation studies. Conversely, the brand-new Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) mission could provide validated SSS data along with its main objective soil moisture retrieval. As a result, collecting a candidate data set of surface's parameters as inputs to SSS with the aid of Pearson correlation and Boruta feature selection techniques, this paper aims to study the predictive skills of machine learning approaches to estimate SMAP radiometer SSS in the Persian Gulf region from April 2015 to April 2017. Thus, four machine learning methods including Support Vector Regression (SVR), artificial neural network (ANN), random forest (RF) and gradient boosting machine (GBM) were adopted to model the SSS. Two approaches of GBM and RF provided scarcely equivalent predictions for both the calibration and validation data sets that were distinguishably substantiated by experimental results and simulations, nonetheless, slightly superior results were attained with the GBM model by correlation coefficient (r) = 0.734, root mean squared error (RMSE) = 0.906 and mean absolute error (MAE) = 0.627. The findings demonstrate promising SSS estimation from SMAP, which could provide a baseline to perceive the large-scale changes in SSS.