Developing National Soil Moisture Products to Improve Drought Monitoring

Authors: Steven Quiring*, The Ohio State University, Trent W. Ford, Southern Illinois University, Jessica Lucido, USGS Office of Water Information
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Remote Sensing
Keywords: drought, soil moisture, in situ, remote sensing
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Grand Couteau, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This research addresses the critical need to enhance the accuracy and precision of national drought monitoring products by integrating new sources of soil moisture data. Accurate monitoring and prediction of drought events, particularly on sub-seasonal to seasonal timescales, is vital for reducing societal vulnerability through improving drought early warning and drought response. Soil moisture is a key source of information that helps to identify the onset and characterize the severity of agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic drought. Given the demand and importance of near-real-time, national soil moisture data the goal of this project is to develop a national-scale drought monitoring product integrating multiple, diverse sources of soil moisture information to improve drought monitoring activities (e.g., U.S. Drought Monitor) and drought early warning. This goal will be achieved by addressing three main objectives:
1) Assess the fidelity of various satellite remote sensing- and model-based soil moisture products using the North American Soil Moisture Database stations as a benchmark.
2) Integrate remote sensing and modeled soil moisture information with in situ measurements to develop a national-scale, near-real time soil moisture product for drought monitoring.
3) Design and develop cyber infrastructure for delivery of the gridded soil moisture product
Our project goals are closely aligned with the mission of the NOAA Drought Task Force and it will contribute to improved drought early warning and providing more effective drought monitoring tools.

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