Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Arid Environments


In this study, we evaluated three soil moisture (SM) products (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-2 [AMSR2], Advanced SCATterometer [ASCAT], and European Reanalysis Interim [ERA-interim]) across Australia in four climate zones by comparing against the Australian Water Resources Assessment-Landscape (AWRA-L) SM products from July 2012 to June 2017. The ASCAT SM indicated better performance than other SM products over Australia. To evaluate the applicability and reliability for monitoring agricultural drought, an agricultural drought index, the Soil Water Deficit Index, was estimated from three SM products and compared with three commonly-used drought indices (atmospheric water deficit [AWD], Evaporative Stress Index, and Reconnaissance Drought Index). Volumetric contingency tables were compiled to quantitatively assess the performance of agricultural drought detection using various SM products compared with the AWD. All products had reliable drought detection capability over Australia based on the results of temporal evolution and contingency tables with a mean volumetric hit index of 0.700, 0.728, and 0.787 for AMSR2, ASCAT, and ERA-interim, respectively. The slight incapability of drought detection capability of SWDI in tropical region was low due to the variation in persistence times of moisture in the atmosphere and soil. Except arid zone, in all climate zones, the reliability of SM products for drought detection followed the following order ASCAT > ERA-interim > AMSR2.


This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1D1A1B07049029). This research was supported by Space Core Technology Development Program through the NRF funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2014M1A3A3A02034789). This research was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2016R1A2B4008312).