Talks and Poster Presentations (without Proceedings-Entry):
M. Doubkova, W. Wagner, A. Bartsch, V. Naeimi, D. Sabel:
"Radar Soil Moisture Products For Drought Assessment In Somalia";
Talk: SWALIM Consultative Workshop on Drought Assessment Methodologies,
Nairobi, Kenya (invited);
Large and widely dispersed populations in Somalia depend on pastoralism and limitedly on rainfed and irrigated farming. Droughts and floods that have plagued the country in the course of its history were critical for the herders and farmers and have often initiated long-lasting food crises. A proper water management, as a response to the present and the past agro-meteorological conditions, may anticipate pasture and crop losses and improve irrigation planning.
Soil moisture is one of the important agro-meteorological parameters. It improves yield forecasting and functions as the switch that controls the proportion of rainfall that percolates, runs off, or evaporates from the land. Recently, soil moisture has been identified as a critical variable for land-surface water balance analyzes by the GCOS, WCRP and IGBP initiatives. The challenge of measurement of the situ soil moisture over large and remote areas requires the use of space-based remote sensing.
To provide soil moisture measurements, a global soil moisture data collection was initiated based on the latest radar satellite technology from ENVISATīs ASAR and ERS scatterometer sensors. With more than 15 years of historic data availability at global scale (10 years over the African continent), the ERS 50 km resolution soil moisture data is an excellent source for long term climate/environmental change analysis, deviation characterization, and soil moisture trend predictions. The METOP ASCAT, the current continuing mission of ERS scatterometer launched in 2006, will further extend the data archive. The ENVISAT ASAR GM product is the only currently available soil moisture representation at spatial resolution of 1 km. It fulfills the long-term need of hydrological community for a soil moisture product applicable at watershed scale.
The crucial benefit of the ERS and the ASAR GM soil moisture products is centered in their synergistic application. Global scale coarse resolution (50 or 25 km) analyses can be performed with use of the ERS and ASCAT soil moisture long time-series. The time-series are best suitable for deviation characterization, deviation correlation with the various atmospheric indicators (Southern Oscillation, El Niño, or summer monsoons in India), and finally deviation forecasting. Subsequently, The ASAR GM soil moisture product allows for further analyses of these deviations on a finer scale (1 km).
The easy to download formats (ascii, geotiffs) of the ERS and ASAR GM soil moisture data allow for simple data analyses with use of Excel and GIS and Remote sensing software. The formats are designed to serve for local communities in developed countries with limited hardware and software equipment.
With this presentation, we introduce the ERS and ASAR GM soil moisture products as crucial agro-meteorological variables that can significantly contribute to the agricultural & irrigation planning, water resource planning and management initiated under SWALIM-III.
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