EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A physics-informed machine learning approach to estimate surface soil moisture

Abhilash Singh and Kumar Gaurav
Abhilash Singh and Kumar Gaurav
  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, India, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bhopal, India (

We propose Physics Informed Machine Learning (PIML) algorithms to estimate surface soil moisture from Sentinel-1/2 satellite images based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). We have used Improved Integral Equation Model (I2EM) to simulate the radar images backscatter in VV polarisation. In addition, we selected a set of different polarisations, i.e.; (VH, VH/VV, VH-VV), incidence angle, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and topography as input features to map surface soil moisture. We have used two different approaches to predict soil moisture using PIML. In the first approach, we developed an observation bias in which we selected the difference of backscatter value at each pixel in VV polarisation from satellite and derived from theoretical model derived as one of the input features. Our second approach is based on learning bias, in which we modified the loss function with the help of the I2EM model. Our result shows the learning bias PIML outperforms the observation bias PIML with R = 0.94, RMSE = 0.019 m3/m3, and bias = -0.03. We have also compared the performance with the standalone benchmark algorithms. We observed the learning bias PIML emerged as the most accurate model to estimate the surface soil moisture. The proposed approach is a step forward in estimating accurate surface soil moisture at high spatial resolution from remote sensing images.

How to cite: Singh, A. and Gaurav, K.: A physics-informed machine learning approach to estimate surface soil moisture, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-487,, 2023.

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