The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission has delivered valuable sensing of surface soil moisture since 2015. However, it has a short time span and irregular revisit schedules. Utilizing a state-of-the-art time series deep learning neural network, Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), we created a system that predicts SMAP level-3 moisture product with atmospheric forcings, model-simulated moisture, and static physiographic attributes as inputs. The system removes most of the bias with model simulations and improves predicted moisture climatology, achieving small test root-mean-square errors (<0.035) and high-correlation coefficients >0.87 for over 75% of Continental United States, including the forested southeast. As the first application of LSTM in hydrology, we show the proposed network avoids overfitting and is robust for both temporal and spatial extrapolation tests. LSTM generalizes well across regions with distinct climates and environmental settings. With high fidelity to SMAP, LSTM shows great potential for hindcasting, data assimilation, and weather forecasting.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)