Assimilation of SMAP and ASCAT soil moisture retrievals into the JULES land surface model using the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter
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- Assimilation of SMAP and ASCAT soil moisture retrievals into the JULES land surface model using the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter
- Seo, Eunkyo; Lee, Myong-In; Reichle, Rolf H.
- Issue Date
- Elsevier Inc.
- REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, v.253, pp.112222
- A land data assimilation system is developed to merge satellite soil moisture retrievals into the Joint U.K. Land Environment Simulator (JULES) land surface model (LSM) using the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF). The system assimilates microwave soil moisture retrievals from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) radiometer and the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) after bias correction based on cumulative distribution function fitting. The soil moisture assimilation estimates are evaluated with ground-based soil moisture measurements over the continental U.S. for five consecutive warm seasons (May–September of 2015–2019). The result shows that both SMAP and ASCAT retrievals improve the accuracy of soil moisture estimates. Especially, the SMAP single-sensor assimilation experiment shows the best performance with the increase of temporal anomaly correlation by ΔR ~ 0.05 for surface soil moisture and ΔR ~ 0.03 for root-zone soil moisture compared with the LSM simulation without satellite data assimilation. SMAP assimilation is more skillful than ASCAT assimilation primarily because of the greater skill of the assimilated SMAP retrievals compared to the ASCAT retrievals. The skill improvement also depends significantly on the region; the higher skill improvement in the western U.S. compared to the eastern U.S. is explained by the Kalman gain in the two experiments. Additionally, the regional skill differences in the single-sensor assimilation experiments are attributed to the number of assimilated observations. Finally, the soil moisture assimilation estimates provide more realistic land surface information than model-only simulations for the 2015 and the 2016 western U.S. droughts, suggesting the advantage of using satellite soil moisture retrievals in the current drought monitoring system. © 2020 The Author(s)
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