EGU23-14267, updated on 19 May 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

QA4SM: a service for transparent and reproducible evaluation of satellite soil moisture products

Daniel Aberer1, Wolfgang Preimesberger1, Pietro Stradiotti1, Samuel Scherrer1, Monika Tercjak2, Alexander Gruber1, Wouter Dorigo1, Alexander Boresch2, Irene Himmelbauer1, François Gibon3, Philippe Richaume3, Arnaud Mialon3, Yann Kerr3, Ali Mahmoodia3, Raffaele Crapolicchio4, Roberto Sabia4, Raul Garcia4, Philippe Goryl4, and Klaus Scipal4
Daniel Aberer et al.
  • 1TU Wien, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Applied Science, Software and Technologie (AWST) gmbh, Vienna, Austria
  • 3CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/INRAe/IRD/UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 4European Space Agency (ESA) - ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

Quality assessment is an integral part of creating climate data records. Producers of satellite based records want to evaluate whether their products fulfill certain quality requirements, such as the ones set by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) or by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Users of these data, on the other hand, are usually interested in their fitness-for-purpose in terms of specific applications, temporal/spatial subsets, and how different data sets of the same variable compare to each other.
Quality Assurance for Soil Moisture (QA4SM) is an online validation service for (inter)comparing soil moisture records and assessing their quality, incorporating best practices, in a standardized, traceable way via an easy-to-use graphical user interface. The processing chain includes automatic preprocessing (filtering, temporal/spatial matching, scaling) of input data and computation of a set of quality metrics (e.g., correlation, bias, signal-to-noise-ratio). It provides an open and flexible framework in which users can upload their own data for comparison to state-of-the-art records that are already integrated in the service. These include reference data from the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN), reanalysis data from ERA5 and GLDAS Noah, and various satellite based records such as SMOS, SMAP, Sentinel-1, ESA CCI, and C3S. 
In this presentation we give insight into the scientific and technical background of developing a cloud-based validation service and its current capabilities. We explain the advantages a service like this has, and how it can benefit users of climate data records with minimal effort.

The service was launched as part of the Quality Assurance for High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Soil Moisture Data (QA4SM-HR) project through the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and is currently developed within the framework of the European Space Agency’s Fiducial Reference Measurement for Soil Moisture (FRM4SM) project. It can be accessed at:

How to cite: Aberer, D., Preimesberger, W., Stradiotti, P., Scherrer, S., Tercjak, M., Gruber, A., Dorigo, W., Boresch, A., Himmelbauer, I., Gibon, F., Richaume, P., Mialon, A., Kerr, Y., Mahmoodia, A., Crapolicchio, R., Sabia, R., Garcia, R., Goryl, P., and Scipal, K.: QA4SM: a service for transparent and reproducible evaluation of satellite soil moisture products, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14267,, 2023.