Improving soil moisture and surface turbulent heat flux estimates by assimilation of SMAP brightness temperatures or soil moisture retrievals and GOES land surface temperature retrievals

Yang Lu, Susan C. Steele-Dunne, Gabriëlle J.M. De Lannoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Surface heat fluxes are vital to hydrological and environmental studies, but mapping them accurately over a large area remains a problem. In this study, brightness temperature (TB) observations or soil moisture retrievals from the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and land surface temperature (LST) product from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) are assimilated together into a coupled water and heat transfer model to improve surface heat flux estimates. A particle filter is used to assimilate SMAP data, while a particle smoothing method is adopted to assimilate GOES LST time series, correcting for both systematic biases via parameter updating and for short-term error via state updating. One experiment assimilates SMAP TB at horizontal polarization and GOES LST, a second experiment assimilates SMAP TB at vertical polarization and GOES LST, and a third experiment assimilates SMAP soil moisture retrievals along with GOES LST. The aim is to examine if the assimilation of physically consistent TB and LST observations could yield improved surface heat flux estimates. It is demonstrated that all three assimilation experiments improved flux estimates compared to a no-assimilation case. Assimilating TB data tends to produce smaller bias in soil moisture estimates compared to assimilating soil moisture retrievals, but the estimates are influenced by the respective bias correction approaches. Despite the differences in soil moisture estimates, the flux estimates from different assimilation experiments are in general very similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Evaporation
  • Atmosphere-land interaction
  • Soil moisture
  • Surface temperature
  • Data assimilation

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