Applications of SMAP and Evapotranspiration Data: Webinar Series

If you are interested in Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) data, we would like to bring your attention to an upcoming webinar series offered by the NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET) Program that is focused on applications of SMAP and evapotranspiration data. This webinar series will help attendees learn about NASA soil moisture and evapotranspiration products and how to access and apply them for water resource management. Over the course of five weeks, attendees will learn how to monitor and manage water resources with techniques learned in training. The series will begin with an introduction to satellite missions and useful data sets. Next, trainers will demonstrate online portals for accessing data. The series will conclude with specific examples of how you can apply the data and modeled data products.

Webinar series details
Applications of Remote Sensing to Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration
Dates: Thursdays, from September 1 to September 29.
Times: 11:30-12:30 or 18:00-19:00, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Week 1: Introduction to Soil Moisture, Evapotranspiration, and an Overview of the SMAP Satellite Mission
Week 2: Applications of SMAP Data
Week 3: Accessing SMAP Data
Week 4: Landsat-based Evapotranspiration Estimates (METRIC) and Google Earth Engine Evapotranspiration Flux (EEFlux) Portal
Week 5: MODIS-based Evapotranspiration (ALEXI) and Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration data from GLDAS/NLDAS

For more information and to register, please see:


Surface soil moisture in the Southeastern United States as retrieved from NASA’s SMAP satellite observatory at around 6 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2015. Large parts of South Carolina appear blue, representing areas with saturated soil conditions and possible standing water resulting from heavy localized rains and flooding. Large-scale flooding was experienced all over South Carolina on Oct. 5-6, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC

Tips for working with AMSR-E Daily Soil Moisture data

Soil moisture is a key variable in understanding land surface hydrology and in modeling ecosystems, weather, and climate. Among NSIDC’s most popular data sets is the “AMSR-E/Aqua Daily L3 Surface Soil Moisture, Interpretive Parameters, & QC EASE-Grids” (AE_Land3) data set. This data set is distributed in HDF-EOS format and one of the biggest hurdles encountered by many users is simply learning how to display the data. Here are some tips on how to get started.

The HDF Group provides sample code for access and visualization of HDF data into IDL, MATLAB, and NCL. Access to the sample code for AMSR-E HDF data is provided on the HDF Group’s HDF-EOS Comprehensive Examples Web page.

If you are more familiar with GeoTIFF format, you may choose to utilize the HDF-EOS to GeoTIFF (HEG) Tool to convert AMSR-E Daily Soil Moisture HDF data into GeoTIFF format. This tool also allows you to subset the data with spatial or parameter constraints, as well as change the output projection. These HEG Tool services are also available as an option when ordering these data through the Reverb search and order interface. Instructions on how to use these data services in Reverb can be found in this Online Support article.

If you are interested in importing the data into ArcGIS, you can either use the GeoTIFF files generated by the HEG Tool or downloaded from Reverb, or you can perform a few steps to import the native HDF-EOS files into ArcMap. Using the ArcToolbox, you can easily extract a data field from an HDF file and save it in a different raster format that you are more familiar with. Instructions detailing how to do this can be found in this Online Support article.

AMSR-E L3 Daily Soil Moisture plot, 07/01/2002

AMSR-E L3 Daily Soil Moisture plot, 07/01/2002.