Soil Moisture, Salinity and Precipitation

  • Released Monday, July 15, 2019
  • Updated Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 8:59AM
  • ID: 31046

This visualization compares weekly soil moisture and sea surface salinity data (over land and water, respectively) from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite (SMAP) mission [top map] with a precipitation product called Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM, or IMERG [bottom map], from March 31 2015 to March 24, 2019. IMERG is These maps reveal how precipitation amounts influence soil moisture conditions and sea surface salinity. For example, high amounts of precipitation along the equator coincide with relatively moist soil conditions on land (blue shades) and low salinity values in the ocean (green and blue shades). Conversely, areas that receive little or no precipitation, such as the Sahara Desert in northern Africa, coincide with dry soils (dark yellow shades). Scientists can use data from SMAP and IMERG to develop improved flood prediction and drought monitoring capabilities. Societal benefits include improved water-resource management, agricultural productivity, and wildfire and landslide predictions. Data from SMAP also allow us to extend the data record of the highly successful 3-year Aquarius sea surface salinity mission into the future. The images shown here are 8-day averages.


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Datasets used in this visualization

SMAP Salinity (A.K.A. Sea Surface Salinity) (Collected with the Radiometer sensor)
Observed Data

SMAP Level 3 Sea Surface Salinity Standard Mapped Image 8-Day Running Mean V3.0 70km Validated Dataset

Dataset can be found at:*3*

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SMAP Soil Moisture (Collected with the Radiometer sensor)
Observed DataJPL

Level 3 enhanced daily composite soil moisture

Dataset can be found at:

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Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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