High-resolution European daily soil moisture derived with machine learning (2003–2020)

Sungmin O, Rene Orth, Ulrich Weber, Seon Ki Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Machine learning (ML) has emerged as a novel tool for generating large-scale land surface data in recent years. ML can learn the relationship between input and target, e.g. meteorological variables and in-situ soil moisture, and then estimate soil moisture across space and time, independently of prior physics-based knowledge. Here we develop a high-resolution (0.1°) daily soil moisture dataset in Europe (SoMo.ml-EU) using Long Short-Term Memory trained with in-situ measurements. The resulting dataset covers three vertical layers and the period 2003–2020. Compared to its previous version with a lower spatial resolution (0.25°), it shows a closer agreement with independent in-situ data in terms of temporal variation, demonstrating the enhanced usefulness of in-situ observations when processed jointly with high-resolution meteorological data. Regional comparison with other gridded datasets also demonstrates the ability of SoMo.ml-EU in describing the variability of soil moisture, including drought conditions. As a result, our new dataset will benefit regional studies requiring high-resolution observation-based soil moisture, such as hydrological and agricultural analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number701
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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