Validation of Sentinel-1 soil moisture products


Technical Support for the setup and scientific exploitation of the Sentinel-1 Supersite in Biebrza-Poland
ESA Express Procurement “EXPRO”

Duration of the project: 10.2014 – 10.2017

Sentinel-1 Soil Moisture (SM) product validation requirements

The need for operational SM monitoring and retrieval has been raised by a number of studies and emphasized by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) by endorsing SM as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV). In this respect many SM measuring networks and field campaigns have been initiated with dedication to various applications such as: hydrology, meteorology, agronomy, or satellite data validation. As a result an extensive set of measurement have been acquired across different soil types, climatic conditions, and land covers by a variety of sensors at different temporal and spatial scales.

Description of Biebrza S-1 validation supersites

The characteristics of the S-1 satellite constellation will open a new perspective for monitoring of SM over unique ecosystems. Among such environments are wetlands, which have many important functions such as: habitat for numerous plants and animals species (birds in particular), water retention and flood prevention, absorption of excess nutrients and other pollutants before they reach water bodies, carbon storage, and an attractive destination for tourism and recreation.

In the scope of proposed project two S-1 SM validation sites covering grassland and marshland are located in the Biebrza Wetlands (Poland). Environmental conditions between both sites vary in respect to a SM level, vegetations density and type of grass cover. This diversity will allow to evaluate the S-1 SM products across a wide range of conditions and to conduct extensive research concerning water, carbon and energy cycles within a unique wetland ecosystem

The proposed instrumentation for both validation sites will have common instruments for the soil moisture measurements and separate weather stations.

Photo: Biebrza National Park. Credits: Shutterstock

Read more details on Sentinel-1 Soil Moisture mission here:

Project dissemination:

  • Balenzano A., Mattia F., Satalino G., Lovergine F.P., Palmisano D., Peng J., Marzahn P., Wegmüller U., Cartus O., Dabrowska-Zielinska K., Musial J.P., Davidson M.W.J., Pauwels V.R.N., Cosh M.H., McNairn H., Johnson J.T., Walker J.P., Yueh S.H., Entekhabi D., Kerr Y.K., Jackson T.J., 2021, Sentinel-1 soil moisture at 1 km resolution: a validation study, Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 263, 112554. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2021.112554 PAPER
  • Peng J., Albergel C., Balenzano A., Brocca L., Cartus O., Cosh M.H., Crow W.T., Dabrowska-Zielinska K., Dadson S., Davidson M.W.J., de Rosnay P., Dorigo W., Gruber A., Hagemann S., Hirschi M., Kerr Y.H., Lovergine F., Mahecha M.D., Marzahn P., Mattia F., Musial J.P., Preuschmann S., Reichle R.H., Satalino G., Silgram M., van Bodegom P.M., Verhoest N.E.C., Wagner W., Walker J.P., Wegmüller U., Loew A., 2020, A roadmap for high-resolution satellite soil moisture applications – confronting product characteristics with user requirements, Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 252, 112162. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2020.112162 PAPER
  • Dabrowska-Zielinska K., Musial J., Malinska A., Budzynska M., Gurdak R., Kiryla W., Bartold M., Grzybowski P., 2018, Soil Moisture in the Biebrza Wetlands Retrieved from Sentinel-1 Imagery, Remote Sensing 2018, Vol. 10 (12), 1979. doi:10.3390/rs10121979 PAPER
  • Dabrowska-Zielinska K., Budzynska M., Gurdak R., Musial J., Malinska A., Gatkowska M., Bartold M., 2017, Application of Sentinel-1 VH and VV and Sentinel-2 for soil moisture studies, Proceedings of SPIE 10426, Active and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, 104260C (3 October 2017). doi:10.1117/12.2278613 PAPER