Google Research

A Machine Learning Data Fusion Model for Soil Moisture Retrieval

Arxiv (2022)


We develop a deep learning based convolutional-regression model that estimates the volumetric soil moisture content in the top ~5 cm. Input predictors include Sentinel-1 (active radar), Sentinel-2 (optical imagery), and SMAP (passive radar) as well as geophysical variables from SoilGrids and modelled soil moisture fields from GLDAS. The model was trained and evaluated on data from ~1300 in-situ sensors globally over the period 2015 - 2021 and obtained an average per-sensor correlation of 0.72 and ubRMSE of 0.0546. These results are benchmarked against 13 other soil moisture estimates at different locations, and an ablation study was used to identify important predictors.

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