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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of a Soil Moisture Data Assimilation System Over the Conterminous United States

item Bolten, John
item Crow, Wade
item Jackson, Thomas
item Zhan, X
item Reynolds, Curt

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Bolten, J.D., Crow, W.T., Jackson, T.J., Zhan, X., Reynolds, C.A. 2008. Evaluation of a soil moisture data assimilation system over the conterminous United States [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. 89(53).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A data assimilation system has been designed to integrate surface soil moisture estimates from the EOS Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) with an online soil moisture model used by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service for global crop estimation. USDA’s International Production Assessment Division (IPAD) of the Office of Global Analysis (OGA) ingests global soil moisture within a Crop Assessment Data Retrieval and Evaluation (CADRE) Decision Support System (DSS) to provide nowcasts of crop conditions and agricultural-drought. This information is primarily used to derive mid-season crop yield estimates for the improvement of foreign market access for U.S. agricultural products. The CADRE is forced by daily meteorological observations (precipitation and temperature) provided by the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The integration of AMSR-E observations into the two-layer soil moisture model employed by IPAD can potentially enhance the reliability of the CADRE soil moisture estimates due to AMSR-E’s improved repeat time and greater spatial coverage. Assimilation of the AMSR-E soil moisture estimates is accomplished using a 1-D Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) at daily time steps. A diagnostic calibration of the filter is performed using innovation statistics by accurately weighting the filter observation and modeling errors for three ranges of vegetation biomass density estimated using historical data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). Assessment of the AMSR-E assimilation has been completed for a five year duration over the conterminous United States. To evaluate the ability of the filter to compensate for incorrect precipitation forcing into the model, a data denial approach is employed by comparing soil moisture results obtained from separate model simulations forced with precipitation products of varying uncertainty. An analysis of surface and root-zone anomalies is presented for each model simulation over the conterminous United States, as well as statistical assessments for each simulation over various land cover types.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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