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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: In Situ Soil Moisture Network for Validation of Remotely Sensed Data

Authors
item Bosch, David
item Jackson, Thomas
item Lakshmi, Venkat - UNIV. OF S.CAROLINA
item Jacobs, Jennifer - UNIV. OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
item Moran, Susan - USDA-ARS-SWRC-TUCSON,AZ

Submitted to: International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2004
Publication Date: September 20, 2004
Citation: Bosch, D.D., Jackson, T.J., Lakshmi, V., Jacobs, J., Moran, S. 2004. In situ soil moisture network for validation of remotely sensed data. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. September 20-24, 2004. Anchorage, Alaska.

Interpretive Summary: The water content in the soil is an important soil characteristic. It is used to evaluate irrigation needs, runoff susceptibility, and plant available water. Knowledge of the amount of water existing in the soil is critical to understanding many of the fundamental environmental processes. An automated network for continuous measurement of soil moisture in the top 30 cm of the soil over an 8000 km2 region has been established. The network consists of 32 stations encompassing a diversity of soil types. The network is being used to examine the accuracy of remotely sensed measurements of soil moisture and the degree to which they represent natural variability across the landscape. Satellite-based sensors offer an effective way to observe soil moisture conditions over large, unmonitored areas. Preliminary analysis indicates that the in situ network yields soil moisture estimates which are representative of the larger coverage area.

Technical Abstract: An automated soil moisture network for continuous measurement of soil moisture in the top 30 cm of the soil over an 8000 km2 region has been established. The network consists of 32 stations encompassing a diversity of soil types. The measurements are being used to improve drought, flood, and agronomic production forecasts. In addition, the data are being used to examine the accuracy of remotely sensed measurements of soil moisture and the degree to which they represent natural variability across the landscape. The data were used to evaluate soil moisture conditions during the SMEX03 experiment. The data are being used to support testing of AMSR, AMSR-E, PSR, and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) observations. Gravimetric samples were collected for the period from June 23, 2003 to July 2, 2003 for comparison to both the in situ network and the remotely sensed data. During the experiment, daily in situ soil moisture measurements were taken and plant and soil samples collected for oven drying and determination of moisture content. The automated network provided continuous in situ soil moisture measurements throughout the coverage area. A wide variation in soil moisture was observed both over the time period and from site to site.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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