Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285508

Title: Treatment of systematic errors in land data assimilation systems

item Crow, Wade
item Yilmaz, Mustafa

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2011
Publication Date: 1/21/2012
Citation: Crow, W.T., Yilmaz, M.T. 2012. Treatment of systematic errors in land data assimilation systems [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. 2012 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Data assimilation systems are generally designed to minimize the influence of random error on the estimation of system states. Yet, experience with land data assimilation systems has also revealed the presence of large systematic differences between model-derived and remotely-sensed estimates of land surface states. Such differences are commonly resolved prior to data assimilation through implementation of a pre-processing rescaling step whereby observations are scaled (or non-linearly transformed) to somehow “match” comparable predictions made by an assimilation model. While the rationale for removing systematic differences in means (i.e., bias) between models and observations is well-established, relatively little theoretical guidance is currently available to determine the appropriate treatment of higher-order moments during rescaling. This talk presents a simple analytical argument to define an optimal linear-rescaling strategy for observations prior to their assimilation into a land surface model. While a technique based on triple collocation theory is shown to replicate this optimal strategy, commonly-applied rescaling techniques (e.g., so called “least-squares regression” and “variance matching” approaches) are shown to represent only sub-optimal approximations to it. Since the triple collocation approach is likely infeasible in many real-world circumstances, general advice for deciding between various feasible (yet sub-optimal) rescaling approaches will be presented with an emphasis of the implications of this work for the case of directly assimilating satellite radiances. While the bulk of the analysis will deal with linear rescaling techniques, its extension to nonlinear cases will also be discussed.