5B.4 A Coordinated National Soil Moisture Network: Pilot Study and Recent Advances

Tuesday, 27 June 2017: 9:15 AM
Mt. Roan (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Trent W. Ford, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL; and J. M. Lucido, S. M. Quiring, M. L. Strobel, and L. A. Winslow

Soil moisture plays a vital role in the climate system. From an operational perspective, soil moisture is important for drought early warning and assessment, seasonal climate forecasting, climate and land surface modeling, flood forecasting, crop yield estimates, and water resource management. However, in situ soil moisture measurements are collected by numerous agencies and organizations in the United States using a variety of instruments and methods for diverse applications. Consequently, the data are often distributed and represented in disparate formats, posing significant challenges for users. A pilot project was completed as a proof-of-concept for integrating in situ soil moisture measurements from distributed sources in near real-time. The pilot successfully demonstrated that in situ soil moisture data from a variety of sources can be integrated in near real-time and made accessible at a single, common endpoint. This substantially increases the utility of these data and will help to support a variety of applications. To this end, a steering committee has been established, including both soil moisture data providers and users from federal and state agencies, academia, and private industry. The overarching goal of the project and committee is to develop a nation-wide soil moisture product that both effectively leverages the full variety of existing monitoring networks and modeling efforts and benefits a broad range of end users from multiple sectors. Here we describe the pilot study as well as recent advances in our ability to obtain, process, and integrate multiple of sources of soil moisture data.
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