Geophysics Department Seminar: Venkat Lakshmi (University of South Carolina) - Downscaling satellite soil moisture for catchment hydrology applications
Title: Downscaling satellite soil moisture for catchment hydrology applications
Soil moisture is an important variable in land surface hydrology as it controls the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil and replenishes the water table versus the amount that contributes to surface runoff and eventually to channel flow. However observations of soil moisture at a point scale are very sparse and observing networks are expensive to maintain. Satellite sensors specifically radiometers have spatial resolutions in 10s of kilometers. However these spatial resolutions are too coarse for catchment hydrology applications. Most local applications require kilometer or sub-kilometer scale soil moisture data sets. Radar sensors have a high spatial resolution but the relationship between backscatter and soil moisture is quite complex. Downscaling of the radiometer data requires innovative approaches, ancillary data and model products all of which are used here to develop high spatial resolution soil moisture for catchment applications in hydrology. In this talk I will outline and explain the methodology for downscaling low resolution passive microwave soil moisture using radar data as well as visible and near infrared satellite data sets along with model products.