Vinnikov et al., 1999

Vinnikov, Konstantin Y., Alan Robock, Shuang Qiu, and Jared K. Entin, 1999: Optimal design of surface networks for observation of soil moisture.J. Geophys. Res., 104, 4145-4168.


By analyzing in-situ soil moisture data, we show that soil moisture variability consists of two components, one of which is related to large-scale atmospheric forcing, and the other related to small-scale land surface variability and hydrologic processes. We use empirically estimated spatial and temporal autocorrelation functions for Illinois, USA, to estimate errors of spatial averaging of soil moisture observations, using the method of statistically optimal averaging of meteorological fields. The estimated dependence of the root mean square errors of averaging on the soil moisture station network density can be used to analyze existing observational networks and for designing new ones. For the application of providing information on a regular grid for weather and climate numerical models, we show that the new, relatively high-density networks of soil moisture observations in Oklahoma, USA, may not provide estimates with very much more accuracy than the relatively low-density currently existing network in Illinois.

Prepared by Alan Robock ( ) - Last updated on September 29, 1999