Mousa, BG; Shu, H (2020). Spatial Evaluation and Assimilation of SMAP, SMOS, and ASCAT Satellite Soil Moisture Products Over Africa Using Statistical Techniques. EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE, 7(1), UNSP e2019EA000841.

The limited number of in situ stations of surface soil moisture (SM) in Africa creates a shortage in the validation of SM satellite products. Therefore, this study investigates the performance of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS), and the H113 product from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) on the regional scale over Africa through these goals: (1) validate of satellite SM products against in situ stations and SM data from the ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis product, (2) study the spatiotemporal variability of satellite SM products on the regional scale, and (3) evaluate the regional scale error patterns and investigate regions where the assimilation of satellites SM data may add improvement to ERA-Interim. Standard statistical metrics, hovmoller diagrams, and the Triple Collocation (TC) model were used to achieve these goals. Land cover data, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and precipitation data were used to interpret results. The validation results based on statistical metrics and TC indicate that over the desert and shrub, passive products showed better performance than ASCAT, while over moderate vegetation areas (grassland), SMAP had the best among SM products. Over high densely vegetated regions, ASCAT showed a high comparatively performance than passive products. The potential regions for assimilation of satellite data sets were selected to be over savannas and grassland regions for ASCAT, and over shrub and grassland regions for SMAP. In particular, SMAP and ASCAT SM data sets are considered more stable than SMOS for data assimilation and capturing the spatial distribution of SM on the regional scale over Africa.