Submitted to: Advances in Water Resources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/27/2002
Publication Date: 4/1/2003
Citation: Cosh, M.H., Stedinger, J., Brutsaert, W. 2003. Time changes in spatial structure of surface variability in southern great plains. Advances in Water Resources. 26:407-415.
Interpretive Summary: An understanding of how land surface parameters vary over the landscape is crucial to modeling and estimation of fluxes which are critical to the hydrologic cycle. Two such parameters, vegetation density and land surface temperature, are the focus of this investigation. Satellite imagery over the course of three years is used to study how the variability of these parameters changes during a drying cycle and also throughout a year. It is concluded that the variability of vegetation is relatively consistent from one day to the next, but land surface temperature has an almost random change in structure day to day. These conclusions impact the way in which future incorporation of land surface parameter variable can proceed.
Technical Abstract: This study focuses on time changes in the spatial structure of vegetation density and land surface temperature derived from satellite remote sensing in the Southern Great Plains. In this region the spatial distribution of vegetation density for a diverse land surface was anisotropic and statistically heterogeneous. As a drying period progressed, heterogeneity decreased slightly and the variability became more dependent on smaller length scales. Within similar land cover classifications, vegetation density was approximately homogeneous with a correlation scale up to 40 km. In the same region, land surface temperature exhibited anisotropy and heterogeneity with dramatic changes in structure from day-to-day. Land cover did not exert a significant control on the land surface temperature structure.