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SHARE User workshop in Pretoria
African water resource managers require information about soil moisture, which is the water stored in the soil within reach of the plants. When there is too little soil moisture, rain-fed crops and natural vegetation wilt and water withdrawal for irrigation and other purposes increases strongly. When there is too much soil moisture, the risks of flooding, flash floods and erosion increases. Unfortunately, so far, there has been a near complete lack of soil moisture information in Africa because of the high costs of in-situ measurement networks and because of the unavailability of suitable satellite data. The TIGER project SHARE is the first project to demonstrate that spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instruments can deliver soil moisture data of high spatial (1 km) and temporal (< 1 week) resolution. The soil moisture data are retrieved from ScanSAR data collected by the ENVISAT ASAR instrument using a change detection algorithm that accounts for spatial differences in vegetation cover and surface roughness. At this stage this product is deemed experimental because seasonal vegetation effects are not corrected for and because validation activities have only just started. The data can be viewed at the SHARE website http://www.ukzn.ac.za/sahg/share/ or at the Vienna University of Technology website http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/radar/.
SHARE aims to establish an operational soil moisture monitoring service for the region of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The needs of meteorologists, hydrologists and other users are considered within the course of product development. A joint event of interested institutions from southern Africa and the research group from Vienna University of Technology & University of KwaZulu Natal will take place on November 23rd, 2006 at the premises of the Water Research Commission in Pretoria, South Africa. The aim of this meeting is to provide insight into product generation and scientific background and, most important, to receive feedback from a wide range of possible users in order to ensure the anticipated application potential of the final product.
Download the invitation to the Workshop
Invitation SHARE Pretoria, 214 Kb