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Applications of Remote Sensing to Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration

August 9, 2006, Magic Valley Ground Water District and the A&B Irrigation district.

Previous ARSET trainings focused on water resources have mainly addressed remote sensing measurements of precipitation and their applications. But precipitation is only one component of the water cycle. NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Satellite Mission is now providing new soil moisture data, and modeling frameworks are providing new evapotranspiration data. This webinar series was intended to help attendees learn about NASA soil moisture and evapotranspiration products and how to access and apply them for water resource management. Throughout the five sessions, attendees will learn how to monitor and manage water resources with techniques learned in training. The series begins with an introduction to satellite missions and useful data sets. Next, trainers demonstrate online portals for accessing data. The series concludes with specific examples of how you can apply the data and modeled data products.

Learning Objectives: 

Participants will learn about NASA Earth observation resources (data and tools) available for water resource applications, including: a basic understanding of how evapotranspiration and soil moisture are included in the water cycle and how to access and visualize these data products.

Participants will also become familiar with a number of modeled datasets and techniques for using NASA Earth Science data for water resource management.

Course Format: 
  • Five one-hour sessions

Reference Materials: List of Relevant Tools & Data Portals


Local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations interested in using satellite imagery for decision and policy making activities.

Session One: Introduction to Soil Moisture, Evapotranspiration, and an Overview of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Satellite Mission

An overview of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, available SMAP products, an overview of evapotranspiration (ET), methods of estimating ET based on remote sensing, and ET data products based on remote sensing. View the recording »

Session Two: Applications of SMAP Data

An overview of NASA Applied Sciences, the SMAP mission, SMAP applications, the SMAP early adopter program, and samples of SMAP data applications. Featuring guest speaker Vanessa Escobar. View the recording »

Session Three: Accessing SMAP Data

A tour of the NASA National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), SMAP data discovery & access at NSIDC, accessing SMAP data through Worldview, and accessing SMAP data through Earthdata Search. Featuring guest speaker Amy FitzGerrell. View the recording »

Session Four: Landsat-based Evapotranspiration Estimates (METRIC) and Google Earth Engine Evapotranspiration Flux (EEFlux) Portal

Review of evapotranspiration (ET), ET and energy balance, the METRIC model, reference ET (ASCE Penman-Monteith), monthly vs. seasonal ET, applications, challenges, and access. Featuring guest speakers Rick Allen and Ayse Kilic. View the recording »

Session Five: MODIS-based Evapotranspiration (ALEXI) and Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration data from GLDAS/NLDAS

Atmospheric Land-Exchange (ALEXI) evapotranspiration and applications, featuring guest speaker Christopher Hain. ET and soil moisture data from Global and North American Land Data Assimilation Systems (GLDAS and NLDAS), data access, and analysis with QGIS. View the recording »

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