ERS scatterometer surface soil moisture analysis of two sites in the south and north of the Sahel region of West Africa

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Journal Article
Journal of Hydrology, 2009, 375 (1-2), pp. 253 - 261
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The analysis of feedback effects between continental surfaces and the atmosphere is a key element in the understanding of African monsoon dynamics. For this reason, the monitoring of surface parameters, in particular soil moisture, is essential. Satellite remote sensing appears to be the most suitable means of obtaining data relevant to such parameters. The present paper presents the results of statistical analysis of soil moisture products based on data recorded by the ERS scatterometer, over the period 1992-2006, from two sites in Niger and Mali in the Sahel climatic region. Soil moisture products were validated over these two sites using ground data measurements and ASAR/ENVISAT estimations. The soil moisture distribution during the monsoon period is described, and the temporal correlation between estimated soil moisture levels is computed. Finally, the dynamics of cells corresponding to precipitation events and high surface moisture values were evaluated in the studied regions, thereby revealing variations during the monsoon period as well as site specific trends. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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