702 WMO Soil Moisture Demonstration Project (SMDP) to Provide Satellite Soil Moisture Product Testbeds

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
John Qu, George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA; and X. Hao

Soil moisture data are essential for early warning systems, drought risk management, runoff potential and flood control, soil erosion, hydrological supply and water quality, irrigation scheduling and crop yield forecasting, reservoir and river transportation system management, and energy security. However, global soil moisture observations are still extremely limited. The lack of data observations hamper efforts to understand the interactions between land surface changes and the water cycle, and limits advances in the prediction capability on the regional scale. The most effective soil moisture observation program is the integration of in-situ stations, collecting verifiable and calibrated point data observations, with remotely-sensed data observations to strengthen participatory early warning systems for weather and climate risks for sustainable agriculture, water resource management and other sectoral requirements. Standards and guidelines for global soil moisture measurements, in support of the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN), need to be developed and coordinated with the Global Energy and Water Exchanges Project (GEWEX) in cooperation with the Group of Earth Observation (GEO) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). With the increasing number of global soil moisture datasets, including from microwave radiometers, scatterometers, and the newly launched NASA Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission, remotely sensed soil moisture products at finer spatial scales are becoming more readily available. Combining these spatially- rich data sets with more systematic in-situ station observations will help provide a better understanding of the earth system and its changes. Decreasing the vulnerability of food, water and energy sectors to natural climate variability through more informed practices and technologies will help make these systems more resilient to climate extremes and variability. George Mason University (GMU) Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute (GENRI) has initiated the Soil Moisture Demonstration Project (SMDP), supported by WMO, to demonstrate the application of an integrated soil moisture observation network. The first pilot project application was implemented in South Africa. The SMDP has been successful in calibration and validation of satellite observed soil moisture products, and, offers the opportunity to develop standards and guidelines for the ISMN. Testbeds for the SMDP have been installed in the USA, China, and Brazil. The goal of SMDP is to demonstrate satellite and in situ soil moisture prodcuts and to provides testbeds of satellite soil moisture products in Africa to strengthen advisory and early warning capabilities, to enhance the quality of an integrated and systematic observation systems, and to establish an effective demand-driven resource delivery system to expedite the flow of products, services and information to all decision makers. The SMDP challenges and issues will be discussed in this presentation.
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