Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2011
Publication Date: March 10, 2011
Citation: Mladenova, I., Crow, W.T., Teng, B., Doraiswamy, P.C. 2011. Importance of verticle coupling in agricultural models on assimilation of satellite-derived soil moisture [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. 2011 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Crop yield in crop production models is simulated as a function of weather, ground conditions and management practices and it is driven by the amount of nutrients, heat and water availability in the root-zone. It has been demonstrated that assimilation of satellite-derived soil moisture data has the potential to improve the model root-zone soil water (RZSW) information. However, the satellite estimates represent the moisture conditions of the top 3 cm to 5 cm of the soil profile depending on system configuration and surface conditions (i.e. soil wetness, density of the canopy cover, etc). The propagation of this superficial information throughout the profile will depend on the model physics. In an Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) data assimilation system, as the one examined here, the update of each soil layer is done through the Kalman Gain, K. K is a weighing factor that determines how much correction will be performed on the forecasts. Furthermore, K depends on the strength of the correlation between the surface and the root-zone soil moisture; the stronger this correlation is, the more observations will impact the analysis. This means that even if the satellite-derived product has higher sensitivity and accuracy as compared to the model estimates, the improvement of the RZSW will be negligible if the surface-root zone coupling is weak, where the later is determined by the model subsurface physics. This research examines: (1) the strength of the vertical coupling in the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model over corn and soybeans covered fields in Iowa, US, (2) the potential to improve EPIC RZSW information through assimilation of satellite soil moisture data derived from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) and (3) the impact of the vertical coupling on the EnKF performance.