State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009CO203B
Title: High Resolution Soil Moisture Retrieval in the Platte River Watersheds
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 1
Focus Categories: Climatological Processes, Hydrology, Water Quantity
Keywords: Soil Moisture, Remote Sensing, Surface Flux Models
Principal Investigator: Johnson, Lynn E
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 2,914
Abstract: Soil moisture is a critical hydrosphere state variable for a wide variety of applications. Passive microwave remote sensing has been demonstrated to capture the high temporal variability of the near surface soil moisture over continental surfaces. However, the use of these data is limited by the low spatial resolution obtained with the current and near-future generation of space-borne radiometers. An operational global soil moisture data product is currently generated from the observations of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite using the retrieval procedure described in Njoku and Chan [2006]. However, the AMSR-E surface soil moisture product is 25-km resolution data and hasn't been fully validated.

We propose to: (1) improve and update the AMSR-E soil moisture products by assimilating the AMSR-E products into NOAH land surface model, (2) downscale the coarse resolution soil moisture outcome to a higher resolution product (eg. 240-m resolution), and (3) validate the final product with the joint soil moisture observations obtained from NRCS Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) and from soil moisture monitoring stations in Nebraska by the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC). The work proposed here constitutes a first attempt to understand the spatial structure of brightness temperature and soil moisture images when applied at higher resolution.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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