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• Level 3 soil moisture datasets from the recently launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite are evaluated for drought monitoring in rangelands.• Validation of SMAP soil moisture (SSM) with in situ and modeled estimates showed high level of agreement.• SSM showed the highest correlation with surface soil moisture (0-5 cm) and a strong correlation to depths up to 20 cm.• SSM showed a reliable and expected response of capturing seasonal dynamics in relation to precipitation, land surface temperature, and evapotranspiration.• Further evaluation using multi-year SMAP datasets is necessary to quantify the full benefits and limitations for drought monitoring in rangelands.
Velpuri, N. M., Senay, G. B., & Morisette, J. T. (2015). Evaluating New SMAP Soil Moisture for Drought Monitoring in the Rangelands of the US High Plains. Rangelands, 38(4), 183–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2016.06.002
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