I'm working with the Google Earth Engine API and the dataset SPL4SMGP.007 SMAP L4 Global 3-hourly 9-km Surface and Root Zone Soil Moisture. I'm trying to get the minimum and maximum value for the band sm_surface, after calculating the mean value for an observation period between 2015-2020.

When trying to calculate the max/min with reduceRegion, I'm getting the following error:

EEException: User memory limit exceeded

I was thinking that my observation area is just to big, but even when I'm not trying to calculate the min/max globally, but just for one country, I still get this user memory limit exceeded error. Because I did the same thing with other datasets with an even better spatial resolution, I think that it has maybe something to do with this specific dataset ?

You can find my code below.

    # Load Data
    smap = ee.ImageCollection('NASA/SMAP/SPL4SMGP/007')

    # Observation Period
    smap_2015_2020 = smap.filterDate('2015-04-01', '2021-01-01')

    # Select bands
    sm_surface = smap_2015_2020.select('sm_surface')

    # Get mean
    sm_surface_mean = sm_surface.mean()

    # Load the dataset for country boundaries
    countries = ee.FeatureCollection('FAO/GAUL_SIMPLIFIED_500m/2015/level0')

    nation = "Austria"

    # Filter for country "Austria"
    region = countries.filter(ee.Filter.eq('ADM0_NAME', nation))

    # Calculating min/max
    max_sm_surface_reg = sm_surface_mean.reduceRegion(

    min_sm_surface_reg = sm_surface_mean.reduceRegion(

    # With the following code, I get "EEException: User memory limit exceeded"
    max_sm_surface_info = max_sm_surface_reg.getInfo()

    min_sm_surface_info = min_sm_surface_reg.getInfo()
  • I think it's unrelated to the dataset but the way you try to use it. The smap_2015_2020 has 16816 that you try to reduce on each pixel. which will always exceed your user memory, can you try to map a reducer on your imagecollection instead ? Commented May 28 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


Since you're reducing 16.816 images (!), I recommend setting the min and max values in a Feature and exporting it to Drive. Something like this:

result = region.set({
    'min': min_sm_surface_reg.get('sm_surface'),
    'max': max_sm_surface_reg.get('sm_surface'),

# Export the result to a CSV file.
task = ee.batch.Export.table.toDrive(...)
  • Your method works when setting "nation" to smaller countries like Austria. My goal is to get the min/max values for any country a user might choose. If I'm setting "nation" to a bigger country like "Australia" for example, I still get the User memory error. Is there any other way to calculate the min/max values without running into that problem?
    – Maine
    Commented yesterday
  • Try not to use the getInfo(), and don't try to print the max_sm_surface_info and min_sm_surface_info variables. Commented 17 hours ago

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