Triple Collocation of Ground-, Satellite- and Land Surface Model-Based Surface Soil Moisture Products in Oklahoma—Part I: Individual Product Assessment
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Triple Collocation of Ground-, Satellite- and Land Surface Model-Based Surface Soil Moisture Products in Oklahoma—Part I: Individual Product Assessment

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  • Journal Title:
    Remote Sensing
  • Description:
    Improvements in soil moisture observations and modeling play a vital role in drought, water resources, flooding, and landslide management and forecasting. However, the lack of multisensor products that integrate different spatial scales (i.e., from 1 m2 to 102 km2) is a pressing need in the management and forecasting chain. Up to date, surface soil moisture estimates could be obtained through three primary approaches: (1) in situ measurements and their interpolations, (2) remote sensing observations, and (3) land surface model (LSM) outputs. Each source of soil moisture has its own spatiotemporal resolution, strengths, and weaknesses. Therefore, their correct interpretation and application require an in-depth understanding of their accuracy and appropriateness. In this study, we explore the utility of the triple collocation (TC) method for an independent assessment of three soil moisture products to characterize their uncertainty structures and make recommendations toward a potential product merge. The state of Oklahoma is an ideal domain to test the hypotheses of this work because of the presence of marked west-to-east gradients in climate, vegetation, and soils. The three target soil moisture products include (1) the remotely sensed microwave soil moisture active passive (SMAP) L3_SM_P_E (9 km, daily), (2) the physically based LSM estimates from NLDAS_NOAH0125_H (1/8°, hourly; Noah), and (3) the Oklahoma Mesonet ground sensor network (point, 30 min). The product assessment was conducted from April 2015 to July 2019. The results indicate that, in general, Mesonet and Noah are the most reliable products, although their performance varies geographically and by land cover type, reflecting the main spatiotemporal characteristics and scope of each product. Specifically, Mesonet provides the best estimates of volumetric soil moisture with a mean Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.805, followed by Noah with 0.747. However, Noah represents the true soil moisture variation better than the interpolated Mesonet product on the mesoscale, with an averaged RMSE of 0.026 m3⁄m3. Over different land cover types, Mesonet had the best performance in shrub/scrub, herbaceous, hay/pasture, and cultivated crops with an average correlation coefficient of 0.79, while Noah achieved the best performance in evergreen, mixed, and deciduous forests, with an average correlation coefficient of 0.74. The period-integrated TC intercomparison results over nine climate divisions indicated that Noah outperformed in the central, northeast, and east-central regions. TC provides not only a new perspective for comparatively assessing multisource soil moisture products but also a basis for objective data merging to capitalize on the strengths of multisensor, multiplatform soil moisture products.
  • Source:
    Remote Sens. 2022, 14(22), 5641
  • Format:
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  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
  • Compliance:
    Submitted
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