Soil moisture modeling and scaling using passive microwave remote sensing
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Soil moisture in the shallow subsurface is a primary hydrologic state governing land-atmosphere interaction at various scales. The primary objectives of this study are to model soil moisture in the root zone in a distributed manner and determine scaling properties of surface soil moisture using passive microwave remote sensing. The study was divided into two parts. For the first study, a root zone soil moisture assessment tool (SMAT) was developed in the ArcGIS platform by fully integrating a one-dimensional vadose zone hydrology model (HYDRUS-ET) with an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation capability. The tool was tested with dataset from the Southern Great Plain 1997 (SGP97) hydrology remote sensing experiment. Results demonstrated that SMAT displayed a reasonable capability to generate soil moisture distribution at the desired resolution at various depths of the root zone in Little Washita watershed during the SGP97 hydrology remote sensing experiment. To improve the model performance, several outstanding issues need to be addressed in the future by: including "effective" hydraulic parameters across spatial scales; implementing subsurface soil properties data bases using direct and indirect methods; incorporating appropriate hydrologic processes across spatial scales; accounting uncertainties in forcing data; and preserving interactions for spatially correlated pixels. The second study focused on spatial scaling properties of the Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR)-based remotely sensed surface soil moisture fields in a region with high row crop agriculture. A wavelet based multi-resolution technique was used to decompose the soil moisture fields into larger-scale average soil moisture fields and fluctuations in horizontal, diagonal and vertical directions at various resolutions. The specific objective was to relate soil moisture variability at the scale of the PSR footprint (800 m X 800 m) to larger scale average soil moisture field variability. We also investigated the scaling characteristics of fluctuation fields among various resolutions. The spatial structure of soil moisture exhibited linearity in the log-log dependency of the variance versus scale-factor, up to a scale factor of -2.6 (6100 m X 6100 m) irrespective of wet and dry conditions, whereas dry fields reflect nonlinear (multi-scaling) behavior at larger scale-factors.
Das, Narendra N. (2005). Soil moisture modeling and scaling using passive microwave remote sensing. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from