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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #436993

Research Project: High-Resolution Soil Moisture Monitoring for Improved Vinyard Water Resource Management

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-029-063-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2019
End Date: Jun 30, 2021

Develop a data assimilation system capable of combining high-resolution water balance modeling with 30-m thermal-infrared remote sensing to accurately track sub-field-scale spatial variability in both surface and root-zone soil moisture within vineyards.

The approach will involve the integration of two existing sources of soil moisture information using a novel data assimilation strategy. These two existing sources are: 1) profile soil moisture estimates derived via a high-resolution (30-m) implementation of an existing soil water balance model, and 2) thermal infrared-based estimates of fractional evapotranspiration (i.e., actual evapotranspiration divided by potential evapotranspiration). Past work has demonstrated how - during water-limited conditions - fractional evapotranspiration can be related to root-zone soil moisture variability within agricultural landscapes. Our approach will be to enhance the soil water balance modelling via the dynamic assimilation of high-resolution fractional evapotranspiration estimates derived from high-resolution thermal remote sensing into a water balance model. This assimilation will yield an optimized estimate of soil water availability which will then be shared with the E&J Gallo wine company in an attempt to simultaneous optimize both their irrigated water use and economic value of their grape harvest.