The accurate estimation of grid-scale fluxes of water, energy, and carbon requires consideration of subgrid spatial variability in root-zone soil moisture (RZSM). The NASA Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface (AirMOSS) mission represents the first systematic attempt to repeatedly map high-resolution RZSM fields using airborne remote sensing across a range of biomes. Here, we compare 3-arc-sec (∼100 m) spatial resolution AirMOSS RZSM retrievals from P-band radar acquisitions over nine separate North American study sites with analogous RZSM estimates generated by the Flux-Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Model (Flux-PIHM). The two products demonstrate comparable levels of accuracy when evaluated against ground-based soil moisture products and a significant level of temporal cross correlation. However, relative to the AirMOSS RZSM retrievals, Flux-PIHM RZSM estimates generally demonstrate much lower levels of spatial and temporal variability, and the spatial patterns captured by both products are poorly correlated. Nevertheless, based on a discussion of likely error sources affecting both products, it is argued that the spatial analysis of AirMOSS and Flux-PIHM RZSM fields provides meaningful upper and lower bounds on the potential range of RZSM spatial variability encountered across a range of natural biomes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing|
|State||Published - Dec 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computers in Earth Sciences
- Atmospheric Science