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Marko Scholze

Senior lecturer

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Working towards a global-scale vegetation water product from SMOS optical depth


  • Jennifer Grant
  • Jean Pierre Wigneron
  • Mathew Williams
  • Marko Scholze
  • Yann Kerr

Summary, in English

In this study, vegetation optical depth from ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite mission is combined with other existing remote sensing, meteorological and literature data in order to obtain values of gravimetric vegetation water content (Mg). The methodology combines an effective medium model valid at passive microwave frequencies with a vegetation dielectric constant model. The algorithm is calibrated for 11 global vegetation classes. The resulting product consists of temporally dynamic ∼25 km global grids of Mg. The first maps clearly show seasonal differences in vegetation water, which vary for the different continental regions due to variations in e.g. latitude, climate and landcover type. This new vegetation water product is unique and offers important complementary information to existing vegetation indices.


  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science

Publishing year







International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)

Document type

Conference paper


IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.


  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Climate Research


  • SMOS
  • vegetation optical depth
  • vegetation water content

Conference name

Joint 2014 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2014 and the 35th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, CSRS 2014

Conference date

2014-07-13 - 2014-07-18

Conference place

Quebec City, Canada




  • ISBN: 9781479957750