Cosmic-ray soil moisture monitoring network, UK (COSMOS-UK) Data map
The purpose of the COSMOS-UK Data map is to provide near-real time soil moisture data for use in a variety of applications including farming, water resources, flood forecasting and land-surface modelling. The data comes from the COSMOS-UK soil moisture network, each site is equipped with an instrument that uses cosmic-rays to sense soil moisture over an area of about 12 hectares (about 30 acres).
Environmental data and information
The COSMOS-UK Data map is an interactive web-based data explorer which provides near-real time map of soil wetness status and Volumetric water content (VWC) for the UK.
COSMOS-UK was established in 2013 and is still developing in terms of the number of stations deployed and services offered to users.
The innovation provided by COSMOS-UK comes from the use of a sensor that exploits cosmic-rays to measure soil moisture. This contrasts with other sensors that are intrusive, effectively point-scale, or require an on-site operator.
Neutron count data are provided by: The Cosmic Ray Group, Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Switzerland (Jungfraujoch). The University of Delaware Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Bartol Research Institute, Newark, USA (Newark/Swarthmore). Polar Geophysical Institute Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Murmansk Region, Russia (Apatity). Organisations and site owners hosting monitoring stations: Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Agroco Farms Bangor University Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) British Geological Survey (BGS) Cheshire Wildlife Trust College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Euston Estate Farmcare Forest Research Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Glasgow University G's Naturally Fresh Hadlow College James Hutton Institute (JHI) Met Office Morley Agricultural Foundation Mr Hugh's Natural England Newcastle University Redhill Farm Estate Rothamsted Research Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) Sheepdrove Organic Farm Surrey Wildlife Trust Sweet Lamb Complex The University of Nottingham University of Leeds University of Lincoln Waddesdon Estate Writtle University College
Data from COSMOS-UK up to the end of 2019 are available for download from the UKCEH Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC). The data are accompanied by documentation that describes the site-specific instrumentation, data and processing including quality control.
Reasonable requests for more recent data are considered on a case-by-case basis; please download the Data Request Form and send completed copies via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Data in EIDC will be updated (anticipated Feb. 2023) to include all data up to end of 2022.
It is anticipated that publically accessible real-time data will empower all kinds of applied environmental research: more accurate meteorological models; better water resource information of current and future conditions; increased resilience to natural hazards, for example by earlier flood warnings; improved water use efficiency in crop production; and giving better crop yield forecasts. It will enable a step change in fundamental science, particularly meteorological predictability associated with soil moisture, and better models of greenhouse gas emissions from soils.