Branch Seminar Series: John Bolten

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
The role of soil moisture in the hydrologic cycle and its influence on land-atmosphere interaction is well established. Fortunately, recent advances in remote sensing technology have led to improved methods for observing regional and global soil moisture dynamics. These advances have and will continue to allow us to extend existing hydrological and climate modeling capabilities to further advance hydrometeorological state estimation. With improved soil moisture estimation capabilities, we are able to observe, forecast, and apply these measurements with increased confidence. As the expected launch of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission approaches, it is necessary to properly assess lessons learned, current challenges, and recent applications of airborne- and satellite-based soil moisture remote sensing instruments. This presentation will discuss the assessment of passive and active soil moisture algorithm development with focus on the influence of microwave frequency, spatial/temporal resolution, and land cover type on soil moisture retrieval performance. Evaluation of radiometric observations from the Passive/Active L/S (PALS), Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR/C), and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer EOS (AMSR-E) instruments during multiple field campaigns will be covered. In addition, the assimilation of soil moisture observations from AMSR-E into the United States Department of Agriculture - Foreign Agriculture Service operational two-layer hydrologic model for global agricultural monitoring will also be discussed.