92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 8:45 AM
Soil Moisture and Heat Flux Monitoring Using Distributed Temperature Sensing: New Field Observations From Oklahoma and Delft
Room 352 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Susan C. Steele-Dunne, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands; and J. Jansen, C. Hatch, T. Ochsner, G. Dong, N. van de Giesen, S. Tyler, J. Selker, and M. Cosh

In Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS), fiber optic cables are used to make high spatial and temporal resolution measurements of temperature over a large area. There are two types of measurements, both of which we have used to yield unique insight into spatial patterns of soil moisture and soil heat flux. In Active DTS, the protective armor is heated and the temperature response of the cable depends on the moisture content of the surrounding soil. In Passive DTS, natural variations in soil temperature in response to net radiation are measured. The dependence of thermal properties on soil moisture is used to infer soil moisture from the temperature dynamics. In October 2010, we installed cable at 3 depths along a 630m track at the SMAP Marena Oklahoma In Situ Sensor Testbed (MOISST) site in Oklahoma. Results will be presented from both Active and Passive DTS measurements to determine soil moisture and soil thermal properties. Results will be compared to point sensors at three enclosures as well as distributed validation measurements of soil moisture and thermal properties, and large-area measurements from COSMOS. Since March 2011, cables have been buried at a grass site in Delft, The Netherlands, to measure soil moisture and heat flux. Results from both installations will be used to demonstrate that DTS is a valuable tool in monitoring land-atmosphere interactions, offering unique insight into sub-pixel scale heterogeneity of key state variables.

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