3.1 The Impact of Nearly Two Decades of Co-Located Research-Quality Observations of Soil and Atmospheric Variables

Monday, 11 January 2016: 4:00 PM
Room 245 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Jeffrey B. Basara, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and B. G. Illston

In 1996, the first soil moisture sensors were installed at Oklahoma Mesonet sites and provided observations every 30 minutes at depths of 5, 25, 60, and 75 cm. Since that time, sensors to measure soil moisture were deployed at over 100 locations, new data quality assurance procedures were pioneered and developed, and the data became part of the core operations of the Oklahoma Mesonet (2002). During the nearly two decades that followed, the impact of the co-located measurements of soil and atmospheric variables have yielded (and continue to yield) new insights across a range of environmental physical processes involved in the exchange of mass and energy between the land-surface and the atmosphere. Additionally, the observations have been critical in the validation and improvement of technologies to measure soil-atmosphere exchange (e.g., satellite remote sensing) and have been critical in near real-time environmental monitoring (e.g., drought onset and evolution). Dr. Ken Crawford's vision and support to expand traditional mesoscale atmospheric monitoring to include soil variables has led to an expansion of strategies focused across observations and instrumentation to new understanding and opportunities related to more comprehensive approach to applied climatology.
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