Is more information a help or hindrance in defining soil moisture parameters?
|The significance of soil moisture variability is becoming an ever-increasing concern among those interested in understanding the earth’s climate system and the effects humans are having on it. Current climate models, however, limit land-surface components, such as soil moisture, to one value for an approximately 62,500 square kilometer area. Such a large "footprint" effectively obliterates the immense variability of soil moisture, and its effects on precipitation, vegetation, and soil type.|
|This summer I have the opportunity to work with the Southern Great Plains Hydrology Experiment in Oklahoma. The SGP97 experiment is a collaboration by teams of scientists from NASA, USDA-Agricultural Research Service and other universities to investigate soil moisture variability over a 10,000 square kilometer area. During the five-week study, the field site will be covered by satellite, aircraft, and truck-based soil-moisture sensors. In essence, it is the largest area of high-resolution, soil moisture analysis to date. My focus will be on the Little Washita watershed.|
|For my research, I will use the ground data that I collect to verify the remotely-sensed data taken for my area by these remote sources. I will also study the relationship between various factors affecting soil moisture, for example, precipitation, topography, soils, and vegetation, and try to find any correlation that might be used to estimate soil moisture variability in other areas. Finally, I will analyze the soil moisture and contributing data at several of the various resolutions and attempt to determine the relationships between them.|
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