The important role of soil moisture for the environment and climate system is well known. Soil moisture influences hydrological and agricultural processes, runoff generation, drought development and many other processes. It also impacts on the climate system through atmospheric feedbacks. Soil moisture is a source of water for evapotranspiration over the continents, and is involved in both the water and the energy cycles. Soil moisture was recognised as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) in 2010 and is fundamental for improving our understanding of long-term dynamics in the coupled water, energy, and carbon cycles over land.

A range of long-term satellite-based soil moisture datasets are produced by CLIMERS, who are also dedicated to continuously developing these freely-available products and periodically delivering temporal extensions. The team presently works on the following projects focused on soil moisture.

Ongoing projects

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) aims to provide authoritative, quality assured climate data records of essential climate variables (ECVs). In this project we build upon the legacy of the ESA CCI Soil Moisture project to produce a long-term consistent soil moisture climate data record and update this product every 10 days with the latest observations.

Read more on the C3S project page

The European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Programme aims at providing long-term data records of essential climate variables (ECVs). In this project, we develop and produce the first global, multi-decadal satellite soil moisture product by harmonizing and merging observations from numerous past and present satellite missions.

Read more on the CCI SM project page

The SLAINTE project is an ESA NEOMI (New Earth Observation Mission Ideas) initiative, which is a first step towards the potential launch of a new satellite in the future. SLAINTE will provide sub-daily microwave data to monitor rapid variations in water stored within the soil–vegetation continuum that could help us address some of the uncertainties in terrestrial water and carbon cycles, and allow us to improve our understanding of land–atmosphere interactions.

Read more on the SLAINTE project page

Hydrological models are essential tools in water resources assessment and management. WATERLINE will employ multi-source information from remote sensing, historical data, in-situ data from meteorological networks as well as crowdsourced measurements to improve hydrological models and their predictions.

Read more on the WATERLINE project page

Completed projects

The GROW observatory brought together citizens who want to generate, share and use environmental data. This has led to more sustainable land use practices, better soil and land governance and policy, and a unique data repository for science.

Read more on the GROW observatory project page

The European Comission's Global Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resource Assessment (eartH2Observe) project is a collaborative project that aimed at contributing to the assessment of global water resources through the use of new Earth Observation datasets and techniques. In this project, we integrated available Earth observations, in situ datasets, and models to construct a consistent global water resources reanalysis dataset of over 30 years, which was made available through an open Water Cycle Integrator data portal.

Read more on the earthH2Observe project page

The European Commission's Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P) project aims at providing consistent, global, purely observation-based groundwater estimates. In this project, we develop a satellite-based root-zone soil moisture product that represents a vital component of the water balance.

Read more on the G3P project page

This European Space Agency-funded project aimed at closing the water budget. In this project, we investigated the usability of Earth observation data for water budget-related questions over the Mediterranean region.

Read more on the WACMOS-MED project page