568 Development of a Coordinated National Soil Moisture Network: A Pilot Study

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Steven M. Quiring, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and J. M. Lucido, L. A. Winslow, T. W. Ford, P. B. Baruah, J. Verdin, R. S. Pulwarty, and M. L. Strobel

Soil moisture is critical for accurate drought assessment and forecasting, identifying flood potential, climate modeling, estimation of crop yields and water budgeting. However, soil moisture data are collected by many agencies and organizations in the United States using a variety of instruments and methods for varying applications. These data are often distributed and represented in disparate formats, posing significant challenges for reuse. Recognizing this need, the President's Climate Action Plan called for the creation of a coordinated national soil moisture network. In response, a team led by the National Integrated Drought Information System has completed a proof-of-concept pilot project. The pilot comprises both in-situ and assimilated soil moisture datasets. It focuses on providing real-time soil moisture data via standard web services to feed map-based visualization tools in order to meet the following use cases: operational drought monitoring, experimental land surface modeling, and operational hydrological modeling. The result of this pilot is a reference architecture that will inform the implementation of the national network.
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