The European Space Agency’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission was orginally designed to deliver information on water cycles. The satellite is now also being used to predict droughts and to monitor crop yield.
A team of geographers at University of California have developed a new approach to measure river flows from outer space. This approach relies exclusively on the measurements of a river's width over time, which can be obtained from freely available satellite imagery. "Our new method doesn't require access to the country or getting in the river to safely take measurements in the field," said Colin Gleason, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in geography in UCLA.