Soil moisture

"Water contained in the upper regions near the earth's surface." (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2019)


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Glossary of Hyfrologic Terms. Accessed February 28, 2019. Available at: 

Related Content


Towards new applications of spaceborne technology on flood protection

Recently, in July 2021, destructive and deadly floods occurred in Western Europe. The estimated insured losses only in Germany could approach 5 billion Euros (AIR Worldwide, 2021). However, the total amount of the damage is currently not foreseeable due to the variety and complexity of the damage patterns and the unbelievable extent of the disaster. It seems the socio-economic losses will dramatically increase and break a new record in the insurance industry after evaluating the complete record of damages’ reports (see Figure 1).

Space technologies in the detection, monitoring and management of groundwater

Global groundwater supplies

Groundwater accounts for 30% of Earth’s freshwater resources (Shiklomanov 1993) (Figure 1) and is estimated to globally provide 36% of potable water, 42% of irrigation water, and 24% of industrial water – indicating its significant value (Global Environment Facility 2021). Groundwater affords a host of benefits, from providing better protection against drought and microbiological contamination than surface waters, to being generally low cost and accessible to many users.

Interview with Sarhan Zerouali

Sarhan Zerouali became fascinated with water at a young age through learning about water scarcity around the world and about traditional methods for locating groundwater. In a space applications course Sahran then learnt about space-based technologies. He is currently working on a research project on how remote sensing and other technologies can help alleviate global challenges arising from land degradation. As an aerospace engineer, Sahran has worked with various modern technologies in his work including nanosatellites, artificial intelligence, and feature extraction algorithms.

Global Precipitation Mission: Improved, accurate and timely global precipitation information

Continuous and reliable global precipitation information is crucial for myriad of weather, climate and hydrological applications. The importance of precipitation in the form of rain, hail, sleet, snow etc. is known to science and clear to a layman. However, it’s quite tricky to measure past precipitation trends or predicting accurate future forecasts. There are three main categories of precipitation data sets available: ground based, satellite-based and blended products of ground and space data (Climate Data Guide, 2014).

Capacity Building and Training Material

ARSET - Applications of Remote Sensing to Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration


NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Satellite Mission is providing new soil moisture data, and modelling frameworks are providing new evapotranspiration data. This webinar series is intended to help participants learn about NASA soil moisture and evapotranspiration products and how to access and apply them for water resource management. Throughout the sessions, participants 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.

ARSET - Water Resource Management Using NASA Earth Science Data Capacity Building and Training Material

ARSET - Water Resource Management Using NASA Earth Science Data


This online course covers precipitation (rainfall and snow fraction), soil moisture, evapotranspiration, runoff and streamflow, groundwater, and lake level heights. Participants are introduced to a number of NASA data products.


Participants will be able to use NASA remote sensing observations and land-atmosphere models to: