Translating aboveground cosmic-ray neutron intensity to high-frequency soil moisture profiles at sub-kilometer scale

R. Rosolem, T. Hoar, Avelino F Arellano, J. L. Anderson, W. James Shuttleworth, Xubin Zeng, T. E. Franz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Above-ground cosmic-ray neutron measurements provide an opportunity to infer soil moisture at the sub-kilometer scale. Initial efforts to assimilate those measurements have shown promise. This study expands such analysis by investigating (1) how the information from aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons can constrain the soil moisture at distinct depths simulated by a land surface model, and (2) how changes in data availability (in terms of retrieval frequency) impact the dynamics of simulated soil moisture profiles. We employ ensemble data assimilation techniques in a "nearly-identical twin" experiment applied at semi-arid shrubland, rainfed agricultural field, and mixed forest biomes in the USA. The performance of the Noah land surface model is compared with and without assimilation of observations at hourly intervals, as well as every 2 days. Synthetic observations of aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons better constrain the soil moisture simulated by Noah in root-zone soil layers (0-100cm), despite the limited measurement depth of the sensor (estimated to be 12-20cm). The ability of Noah to reproduce a "true" soil moisture profile is remarkably good, regardless of the frequency of observations at the semi-arid site. However, soil moisture profiles are better constrained when assimilating synthetic cosmic-ray neutron observations hourly rather than every 2 days at the cropland and mixed forest sites. This indicates potential benefits for hydrometeorological modeling when soil moisture measurements are available at a relatively high frequency. Moreover, differences in summertime meteorological forcing between the semi-arid site and the other two sites may indicate a possible controlling factor to soil moisture dynamics in addition to differences in soil and vegetation properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4363-4379
Number of pages17
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2014

Fingerprint

cosmic ray
soil moisture
mixed forest
land surface
shrubland
biome
data assimilation
rhizosphere
sensor
vegetation
modeling
soil
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Translating aboveground cosmic-ray neutron intensity to high-frequency soil moisture profiles at sub-kilometer scale. / Rosolem, R.; Hoar, T.; Arellano, Avelino F; Anderson, J. L.; Shuttleworth, W. James; Zeng, Xubin; Franz, T. E.

In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 18, No. 11, 04.11.2014, p. 4363-4379.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1015998eb3c3423abbf6f69a8ec02c93,
title = "Translating aboveground cosmic-ray neutron intensity to high-frequency soil moisture profiles at sub-kilometer scale",
abstract = "Above-ground cosmic-ray neutron measurements provide an opportunity to infer soil moisture at the sub-kilometer scale. Initial efforts to assimilate those measurements have shown promise. This study expands such analysis by investigating (1) how the information from aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons can constrain the soil moisture at distinct depths simulated by a land surface model, and (2) how changes in data availability (in terms of retrieval frequency) impact the dynamics of simulated soil moisture profiles. We employ ensemble data assimilation techniques in a {"}nearly-identical twin{"} experiment applied at semi-arid shrubland, rainfed agricultural field, and mixed forest biomes in the USA. The performance of the Noah land surface model is compared with and without assimilation of observations at hourly intervals, as well as every 2 days. Synthetic observations of aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons better constrain the soil moisture simulated by Noah in root-zone soil layers (0-100cm), despite the limited measurement depth of the sensor (estimated to be 12-20cm). The ability of Noah to reproduce a {"}true{"} soil moisture profile is remarkably good, regardless of the frequency of observations at the semi-arid site. However, soil moisture profiles are better constrained when assimilating synthetic cosmic-ray neutron observations hourly rather than every 2 days at the cropland and mixed forest sites. This indicates potential benefits for hydrometeorological modeling when soil moisture measurements are available at a relatively high frequency. Moreover, differences in summertime meteorological forcing between the semi-arid site and the other two sites may indicate a possible controlling factor to soil moisture dynamics in addition to differences in soil and vegetation properties.",
author = "R. Rosolem and T. Hoar and Arellano, {Avelino F} and Anderson, {J. L.} and Shuttleworth, {W. James} and Xubin Zeng and Franz, {T. E.}",
year = "2014",
month = "11",
day = "4",
doi = "10.5194/hess-18-4363-2014",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
pages = "4363--4379",
journal = "Hydrology and Earth System Sciences",
issn = "1027-5606",
publisher = "European Geosciences Union",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Translating aboveground cosmic-ray neutron intensity to high-frequency soil moisture profiles at sub-kilometer scale

AU - Rosolem, R.

AU - Hoar, T.

AU - Arellano, Avelino F

AU - Anderson, J. L.

AU - Shuttleworth, W. James

AU - Zeng, Xubin

AU - Franz, T. E.

PY - 2014/11/4

Y1 - 2014/11/4

N2 - Above-ground cosmic-ray neutron measurements provide an opportunity to infer soil moisture at the sub-kilometer scale. Initial efforts to assimilate those measurements have shown promise. This study expands such analysis by investigating (1) how the information from aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons can constrain the soil moisture at distinct depths simulated by a land surface model, and (2) how changes in data availability (in terms of retrieval frequency) impact the dynamics of simulated soil moisture profiles. We employ ensemble data assimilation techniques in a "nearly-identical twin" experiment applied at semi-arid shrubland, rainfed agricultural field, and mixed forest biomes in the USA. The performance of the Noah land surface model is compared with and without assimilation of observations at hourly intervals, as well as every 2 days. Synthetic observations of aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons better constrain the soil moisture simulated by Noah in root-zone soil layers (0-100cm), despite the limited measurement depth of the sensor (estimated to be 12-20cm). The ability of Noah to reproduce a "true" soil moisture profile is remarkably good, regardless of the frequency of observations at the semi-arid site. However, soil moisture profiles are better constrained when assimilating synthetic cosmic-ray neutron observations hourly rather than every 2 days at the cropland and mixed forest sites. This indicates potential benefits for hydrometeorological modeling when soil moisture measurements are available at a relatively high frequency. Moreover, differences in summertime meteorological forcing between the semi-arid site and the other two sites may indicate a possible controlling factor to soil moisture dynamics in addition to differences in soil and vegetation properties.

AB - Above-ground cosmic-ray neutron measurements provide an opportunity to infer soil moisture at the sub-kilometer scale. Initial efforts to assimilate those measurements have shown promise. This study expands such analysis by investigating (1) how the information from aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons can constrain the soil moisture at distinct depths simulated by a land surface model, and (2) how changes in data availability (in terms of retrieval frequency) impact the dynamics of simulated soil moisture profiles. We employ ensemble data assimilation techniques in a "nearly-identical twin" experiment applied at semi-arid shrubland, rainfed agricultural field, and mixed forest biomes in the USA. The performance of the Noah land surface model is compared with and without assimilation of observations at hourly intervals, as well as every 2 days. Synthetic observations of aboveground cosmic-ray neutrons better constrain the soil moisture simulated by Noah in root-zone soil layers (0-100cm), despite the limited measurement depth of the sensor (estimated to be 12-20cm). The ability of Noah to reproduce a "true" soil moisture profile is remarkably good, regardless of the frequency of observations at the semi-arid site. However, soil moisture profiles are better constrained when assimilating synthetic cosmic-ray neutron observations hourly rather than every 2 days at the cropland and mixed forest sites. This indicates potential benefits for hydrometeorological modeling when soil moisture measurements are available at a relatively high frequency. Moreover, differences in summertime meteorological forcing between the semi-arid site and the other two sites may indicate a possible controlling factor to soil moisture dynamics in addition to differences in soil and vegetation properties.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84908686546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84908686546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5194/hess-18-4363-2014

DO - 10.5194/hess-18-4363-2014

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84908686546

VL - 18

SP - 4363

EP - 4379

JO - Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

JF - Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

SN - 1027-5606

IS - 11

ER -