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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312675

Title: Application of terrestrial microwave remote sensing to agricultural drought monitoring

item Crow, Wade
item HAN, E. - Columbia University
item BOLTEN, J. - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item HOLMES, T. - Science Systems, Inc

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2014
Publication Date: 1/1/2015
Citation: Crow, W.T., Han, E., Bolten, J., Holmes, T. 2015. Application of Terrestrial Microwave Remote Sensing to Agricultural Drought Monitoring [abstract]. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplements. Abstract H34D-03.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Root-zone soil moisture information is a valuable diagnostic for detecting the onset and severity of agricultural drought. Current attempts to globally monitor root-zone soil moisture are generally based on the application of soil water balance models driven by observed meteorological variables. Such systems, however, are prone to random error associated with: incorrect process model physics, poor parameter choices and noisy meteorological inputs. The presentation will describe attempts to remediate these sources of error via the assimilation of remotely-sensed surface soil moisture retrievals from satellite-based passive microwave sensors into a global soil water balance model. Results demonstrate the ability of satellite-based soil moisture retrieval products to significantly improve the global characterization of root-zone soil moisture – particularly in data-poor regions lacking adequate ground-based rain gage instrumentation. This success has lead to an on-going effort to implement an operational land data assimilation system at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) to globally monitor variations in root-zone soil moisture availability via the integration of satellite-based precipitation and soil moisture information. Prospects for improving the performance of the USDA FAS system via the simultaneous assimilation of both passive and active-based soil moisture retrievals derived from the upcoming NASA Soil Moisture Active/Passive mission will also be discussed.