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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Moisture-Temperature Relationships: Results from Two Field Experiments

Authors
item Lakshmi, Venkat - UNIVERSITY OF SC
item Jackson, Thomas
item Zehrfuhs, Diane - UNIVERSITY OF SC

Submitted to: Hydrological Processes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 8, 2003
Publication Date: October 15, 2003
Citation: Lakshmi, V., Jackson, T.J., Zehrfuhs, D. 2003. Soil moisture-temperature relationships: Results from two field experiments. Hydrological Process. 17: 3041-3057.

Interpretive Summary: Relationships between the soil moisture and the temperature variability in time were examined as a function of vegetation type and location. Data from two field experiments in Chickasha, Oklahoma and Tifton Georgia carried out in July 1999 and June 2000 were analyzed. Results from these experiments show that during a drydown the surface temperature increases correspond to soil moisture decreases. The estimation of soil moisture and temperature is crucial to the understanding of land surface-atmosphere interactions and understanding the relationship between soil moisture and surface temperature will enable us to estimate and predict evapotranspiration as well as other heat fluxes, which can lead to better climate predictions. These results will contribute to the development and validation of satellite soil moisture products that will be of value to farmers and climate analyses.

Technical Abstract: Microwave sensors that detect and retrieve soil moisture have footprints an order of magnitude larger in size than those of Infrared/Thermal sensors detecting surface temperatures. Changes in surface temperature affect soil moisture and vice versa. Therefore, it may be possible to use surface temperatures from satellite sensors to disaggregate (improving the spatial information) the microwave retrieved soil moisture. The focus of this work is to explain possible connections between surface temperature and soil moisture in order to carry out such a task in the future. Relationships between the soil moisture and the temperature variability in time were examined as a function of vegetation type and location. Data from two field experiments in Chickasha, Oklahoma and Tifton Georgia carried out in July 1999 and June 2000 were analyzed. Results from these experiments show that during a drydown the surface temperature increases correspond to soil moisture decreases.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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