GMSM II - Global Monitoring of Soil Moisture for Water Hazards Assessment

GMSM II was the follow-up of the GMSM activity performed within ASAP 6. It was launched to advance the use of soil moisture services based on EUMETSAT’s MetOp ASCAT sensor and complementary satellite systems. The GMSM II project has successfully accomplished major achievements towards this goal.

Short Description

Soil moisture is now seen to be one of the crucial Earth observation data sets. Within the 8 GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs) of Agriculture, Climate, Disasters, Ecosystems, Energy, Health, Water, and Weather, soil moisture is one of only three of the twenty-five highest ranked Earth observation parameters that is seen as a priority for all SBAs.

As the Near Real Time (NRT) ASCAT surface soil moisture (SSM) service heads towards its third year of operation, the SSM product is declared as the second most downloaded product from EUMETSAT’s archive. Since the start of GMSM II, project partners have been actively engaged in wining new projects confirming that the scientific donor community (ESA, FFG) critically regards the importance of the monitoring of surface soil moisture.

Notably Vienna University of Technology, in conjunction with other partners from GMSM II, have been selected to spearhead a project within ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) establishing soil moisture as one of the 12 Essential Climate Variables (ECV) monitored from space borne systems.

In line with European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) projects, GMSM II combines elements of a Core Service with a Downstream Service. The GMSM Core Service encompasses activities related to the further development and validation of satellite soil moisture products. The GMSM Downstream Service tackles the problem of how to translate the soil moisture information provided by the satellites into useful information for decision-makers and the public.

Seven application areas are covered by the GMSM project and include the assimilation of soil moisture data in numerical weather prediction, crop growth and yield, hydrological forecasting, dynamic epidemic modelling, regional climate modelling, relationships and trends of soil moisture, vegetation productivity and land cover and societal risk.

Project Partners


Vienna University of Technology, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation - Wolfgang Wagner


  • Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Hydraulic, Engineering and Water Resources Management - Günter Blöschl
  • Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) - Alexander Jann
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Meteorology - Joseph Eitzinger
  • University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Biometeorology and Mathematical Epidemiology Group - Franz Rubel
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH - Klaus Steinnocher
  • GeoVille Information Systems GmbH - Christian Hoffmann
  • University of Salzburg, Centre for Geoinformatics - Peter Zeil

Contact Address

Vienna University of Technology - Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation
Wolfgang Wagner
Gußhausstraße 27-29/120
A-1040 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 58801 - 12225