Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 175, Issue 3, pp 1187–1196 | Cite as

Relation Between the Rainfall and Soil Moisture During Different Phases of Indian Monsoon

  • Hamza Varikoden
  • J. V. Revadekar


Soil moisture is a key parameter in the prediction of southwest monsoon rainfall, hydrological modelling, and many other environmental studies. The studies on relationship between the soil moisture and rainfall in the Indian subcontinent are very limited; hence, the present study focuses the association between rainfall and soil moisture during different monsoon seasons. The soil moisture data used for this study are the ESA (European Space Agency) merged product derived from four passive and two active microwave sensors spanning over the period 1979–2013. The rainfall data used are India Meteorological Department gridded daily data. Both of these data sets are having a spatial resolution of 0.25° latitude–longitude grid. The study revealed that the soil moisture is higher during the southwest monsoon period similar to rainfall and during the pre-monsoon period, the soil moisture is lower. The annual cycle of both the soil moisture and rainfall has the similitude of monomodal variation with a peak during the month of August. The interannual variability of soil moisture and rainfall shows that they are linearly related with each other, even though they are not matched exactly for individual years. The study of extremes also exhibits the surplus amount of soil moisture during wet monsoon years and also the regions of surplus soil moisture are well coherent with the areas of high rainfall.


Soil moisture rainfall flood and drought years interannual variability 



We thank the Director, IITM and Executive Director, CCCR for all the support and necessary infrastructural facilities. We heartily thank Mr. Abdullah Sharief Kizhisseri for timely help to improve the manuscript. The data sets used in this study are properly acknowledged. We are also grateful to anonymous reviewers and the Editor Dr. Vadlamani Murty for constructive review comments.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Climate Change ResearchIndian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia

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