Surface Properties - Subsurface State

The characteristics of the planet's soil and surface.

Specific Measurements:

Surface skin temperature: The radiative surface skin temperature, from an IR thermometer measuring the narrowband radiating temperature of the ground surface in its field of view.

Soil surface temperature: The temperature of the soil measured near the surface.

Sea surface temperature: The temperature of sea water near the surface.

Soil characteristics: Includes available water capacity, bulk density, permeability, porosity, rock fragment classification, rock fragment volume, percent clay, percent sand, and texture classification.

Soil moisture: The moisture of the soil measured near the surface. This includes soil wetness and soil water potential.

Surface albedo:  The fraction of incoming solar radiation at a surface (i.e. land, cloud top) that is effectively reflected by that surface.

Surface condition: State of the surface, including vegetation, land use, surface type, roughness, and such; often provided in model output.


Surface Properties terms for the IASOA data vocabulary are taken from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program’s measurement vocabulary. For the full reference, please visit: