Modeling and application of soil moisture at varying spatial scales with parameter scaling
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The dissertation focuses on characterization of subpixel variability within a satellite-based remotely sensed coarse-scale soil moisture footprint. The underlying heterogeneity of coarse-scale soil moisture footprint is masked by the area-integrated properties within the sensor footprint. Therefore, the soil moisture values derived from these measurements are an area average. The variability in soil moisture within the footprint is introduced by inherent spatial variability present in rainfall, and geophysical parameters (vegetation, topography, and soil). The geophysical parameters/variables typically interact in a complex fashion to make soil moisture evolution and dependent processes highly variable, and also, introduce nonlinearity across spatio-temporal scales. To study the variability and scaling characteristics of soil moisture, a quasi-distributed Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere-Transfer (SVAT) modeling framework is developed to simulate the hydrological dynamics, i.e., the fluxes and the state variables within the satellite-based soil moisture footprint. The modeling framework is successfully tested and implemented in different hydroclimatic regions during the research. New multiscale data assimilation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques in conjunction with the SVAT modeling framework are developed to quantify subpixel variability and assess multiscale soil moisture fields within the coarse-scale satellite footprint. Reasonable results demonstrate the potential to use these techniques to validate multiscale soil moisture data from future satellite mission e.g., Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission of NASA. The results also highlight the physical controls of geophysical parameters on the soil moisture fields for various hydroclimatic regions. New algorithm that uses SVAT modeling framework is also proposed and its application demonstrated, to derive the stochastic soil hydraulic properties (i.e., saturated hydraulic conductivity) and surface features (i.e., surface roughness and volume scattering) related to radar remote sensing of soil moisture.
Das, Narendra Narayan (2008). Modeling and application of soil moisture at varying spatial scales with parameter scaling. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from