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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 #349774

Research Project: Integrating Remote Sensing, Measurements and Modeling for Multi-Scale Assessment of Water Availability, Use, and Quality in Agroecosystems

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Studying soil moisture and temperature on the Tibetan Plateau: Initial results of an integrated, multiscale observatory

item DONG, L. - National Meteorological Center
item TANG, S. - National Meteorological Center
item Cosh, Michael
item ZHAO, P. - Collaborator
item LU, P. - Nanjing Tech University
item ZHAO, K. - Collaborator
item HAN, S. - National Meteorological Center
item MIN, M. - National Meteorological Center
item XU, N. - National Meteorological Center
item CHEN, L. - National Meteorological Center
item WANG, F. - China Meteorological Administration

Submitted to: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2020
Publication Date: 3/3/2020
Citation: Dong, L., Tang, S., Cosh, M.H., Zhao, P., Lu, P., Zhao, K., Han, S., Min, M., Xu, N., Chen, L., Wang, F. 2020. Studying soil moisture and temperature on the Tibetan Plateau: Initial results of an integrated, multiscale observatory. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine. 8(3):18-36.

Interpretive Summary: The Tibetan Plateau is an important driver of weather and climate in Asia, impacting a significant portion of the human population. Remote sensing offers a great leap forward in the monitoring of this region; however, remote sensing products have not been validated in this region, which is a necessary step, to ensure accuracy in modeling and monitoring for this unique landscape. To provide a calibration and validation resource, a series of field experiments and networks were established to provide a quality source of in situ information at the remote sensing pixel scale. These networks are continuing into the future as new satellites are launched, influencing future model development and satellite missions.

Technical Abstract: Scarce in situ data in the western and central regions of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) hinders scientific research on the impact of physical processes and their representation in climate models. Satellite remote sensing and climate models are an effective data source in such complex topography and harsh environment; however, they have not been effectively calibrated and validated due to the lack of multi-scale observations which match the pixel or grid scales of these satellite products. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an integrated multi-scale experiment to address this need. Under the support of “The third atmosphere scientific experiments on the Qinghai - Tibetan Plateau (TIPEX-III)”, a satellite pixel scale TP multi-scale moisture and temperature observation experiment (TP-IMSMTO) was initiated to obtain a long-term observational record of land surface and boundary layer conditions by infrared and microwave ground-based observing facilities over the western and central TP. The TP-IMSMTO experiment was composed of an automatic wireless network over the Naqu and A’li regions, geographic flow profile observations of soil features (soil texture, soil organic carbon and soil dielectric permittivity, and soil moisture), temperature and humidity vertical profile observations of the ‘soil - atmosphere’ interface layer and other integrated studies. The overall objective of TP-IMSMTO is to support research of climate and land surface process models, the water cycle, the multi-spherical energy balance and the exchange studies at the ‘soil - atmosphere’ interface. This article introduces the motivation, scientific objectives, integrated experiment design, implementation, data management and shows some preliminary results.