Towards Next-generation Soil Moisture Mapping Technology

The seminar flyer for Jeffrey Walker

Prof. Jeffrey Walker
Monash University
Monday May 15, 2023, 2 PM ET

Hybrid (In-Person & Virtual):
This seminar will be held at room 4102 of ESSIC, 5825 University Research Ct. College Park, MD 20740. In-person attendance is welcome with refreshment provided. Zoom is also provided for virtual participants.


Global soil moisture is now being routinely measured by the soil moisture dedicated satellites at L-band using the NASA SMAP and ESA SMOS missions. However, this L-band passive microwave remote sensing technology can only provide water content data for the top 5 cm layer of soil for low to moderate vegetation covered areas at 10-40 km resolution, which limits its application. This presentation will explore the potential to improve spatial resolution including through downscaling, use of multi-mission SAR, and/or close proximity radiometry observations. Moreover, it will present some results, progress and plans on a new state-of-the-art satellite concept that aims to provide soil moisture data for the top ~10-30 cm layer of soil over more densely vegetated surfaces by using P-band, which is also expected to have a reduced sensitivity to surface roughness making the soil moisture retrievals more accurate.


Professor Jeffrey Walker received his B.E. (Civil) and B.Surveying degrees in 1995 with Hons 1 and University Medal from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and his Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering from the same University in 1999. His Ph.D. thesis was among the early pioneering research on estimation of root-zone soil moisture from assimilation of remotely sensed surface soil moisture observations. He then joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre to implement his soil moisture work globally. In 2001 he moved to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Melbourne as Lecturer, where he continued his soil moisture work, including development of the only Australian airborne capability for simulating new satellite missions for soil moisture. In 2010 he was appointed as Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University where he is continuing this research. He is contributing to soil moisture satellite missions at NASA, ESA and JAXA, as a Science Team member for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and Cal/val Team member for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and Global Change Observation Mission – Water (GCOM-W) respectively.


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Zoom Meeting ID: 964 0532 2018
Zoom password: essic
US Toll: +13017158592
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May 15 2023


John Xun Yang