Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

soil moisture Related Abstracts

8 Global-Scale Evaluation of Two Satellite-Based Passive Microwave Soil Moisture Data Sets (SMOS and AMSR-E) with Respect to Modelled Estimates

Authors: A. Alyaaria, J. P. Wignerona, A. Ducharneb, Y. Kerrc, P. de Rosnayd, R. de Jeue, A. Govinda, A. Al Bitarc, C. Albergeld, J. Sabaterd, C. Moisya, P. Richaumec, A. Mialonc


Global Level-3 surface soil moisture (SSM) maps from the passive microwave soil moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite (SMOSL3) have been released. To further improve the Level-3 retrieval algorithm, evaluation of the accuracy of the spatio-temporal variability of the SMOS Level 3 products (referred to here as SMOSL3) is necessary. In this study, a comparative analysis of SMOSL3 with a SSM product derived from the observations of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) computed by implementing the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM) algorithm, referred to here as AMSRM, is presented. The comparison of both products (SMSL3 and AMSRM) were made against SSM products produced by a numerical weather prediction system (SM-DAS-2) at ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) for the 03/2010-09/2011 period at global scale. The latter product was considered here a 'reference' product for the inter-comparison of the SMOSL3 and AMSRM products. Three statistical criteria were used for the evaluation, the correlation coefficient (R), the root-mean-squared difference (RMSD), and the bias. Global maps of these criteria were computed, taking into account vegetation information in terms of biome types and Leaf Area Index (LAI). We found that both the SMOSL3 and AMSRM products captured well the spatio-temporal variability of the SM-DAS-2 SSM products in most of the biomes. In general, the AMSRM products overestimated (i.e., wet bias) while the SMOSL3 products underestimated (i.e., dry bias) SSM in comparison to the SM-DAS-2 SSM products. In term of correlation values, the SMOSL3 products were found to better capture the SSM temporal dynamics in highly vegetated biomes ('Tropical humid', 'Temperate Humid', etc.) while best results for AMSRM were obtained over arid and semi-arid biomes ('Desert temperate', 'Desert tropical', etc.). When removing the seasonal cycles in the SSM time variations to compute anomaly values, better correlation with the SM-DAS-2 SSM anomalies were obtained with SMOSL3 than with AMSRM, in most of the biomes with the exception of desert regions. Eventually, we showed that the accuracy of the remotely sensed SSM products is strongly related to LAI. Both the SMOSL3 and AMSRM (slightly better) SSM products correlate well with the SM-DAS2 products over regions with sparse vegetation for values of LAI < 1 (these regions represent almost 50% of the pixels considered in this global study). In regions where LAI>1, SMOSL3 outperformed AMSRM with respect to SM-DAS-2: SMOSL3 had almost consistent performances up to LAI = 6, whereas AMSRM performance deteriorated rapidly with increasing values of LAI.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Microwave, soil moisture, AMSR-E, SMOS

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7 Monitoring Soil Moisture Dynamic in Root Zone System of Argania spinosa Using Electrical Resistivity Imaging

Authors: F. Ainlhout, S. Boutaleb, M. C. Diaz-Barradas, M. Zunzunegui


Argania spinosa is an endemic tree of the southwest of Morocco, occupying 828,000 Ha, distributed mainly between Mediterranean vegetation and the desert. This tree can grow in extremely arid regions in Morocco, where annual rainfall ranges between 100-300 mm where no other tree species can live. It has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve since 1998. Argania tree is of great importance in human and animal feeding of rural population as well as for oil production, it is considered as a multi-usage tree. Admine forest located in the suburbs of Agadir city, 5 km inland, was selected to conduct this work. The aim of the study was to investigate the temporal variation in root-zone moisture dynamic in response to variation in climatic conditions and vegetation water uptake, using a geophysical technique called Electrical resistivity imaging (ERI). This technique discriminates resistive woody roots, dry and moisture soil. Time-dependent measurements (from April till July) of resistivity sections were performed along the surface transect (94 m Length) at 2 m fixed electrode spacing. Transect included eight Argan trees. The interactions between the tree and soil moisture were estimated by following the tree water status variations accompanying the soil moisture deficit. For that purpose we measured midday leaf water potential and relative water content during each sampling day, and for the eight trees. The first results showed that ERI can be used to accurately quantify the spatiotemporal distribution of root-zone moisture content and woody root. The section obtained shows three different layers: middle conductive one (moistured); a moderately resistive layer corresponding to relatively dry soil (calcareous formation with intercalation of marly strata) on top, this layer is interspersed by very resistant layer corresponding to woody roots. Below the conductive layer, we find the moderately resistive layer. We note that throughout the experiment, there was a continuous decrease in soil moisture at the different layers. With the ERI, we can clearly estimate the depth of the woody roots, which does not exceed 4 meters. In previous work on the same species, analyzing the δ18O in water of xylem and in the range of possible water sources, we argued that rain is the main water source in winter and spring, but not in summer, trees are not exploiting deep water from the aquifer as the popular assessment, instead of this they are using soil water at few meter depth. The results of the present work confirm the idea that the roots of Argania spinosa are not growing very deep.

Keywords: soil moisture, Argania spinosa, root system, electrical resistivity imaging

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6 Support Vector Regression for Retrieval of Soil Moisture Using Bistatic Scatterometer Data at X-Band

Authors: Pradeep Kumar, Dileep Kumar Gupta, Rajendra Prasad, Varun Narayan Mishra, Ajeet Kumar Vishwakarma, Prashant K. Srivastava


An approach was evaluated for the retrieval of soil moisture of bare soil surface using bistatic scatterometer data in the angular range of 200 to 700 at VV- and HH- polarization. The microwave data was acquired by specially designed X-band (10 GHz) bistatic scatterometer. The linear regression analysis was done between scattering coefficients and soil moisture content to select the suitable incidence angle for retrieval of soil moisture content. The 250 incidence angle was found more suitable. The support vector regression analysis was used to approximate the function described by the input-output relationship between the scattering coefficient and corresponding measured values of the soil moisture content. The performance of support vector regression algorithm was evaluated by comparing the observed and the estimated soil moisture content by statistical performance indices %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE). The values of %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were found 2.9451, 1.0986, and 0.9214, respectively at HH-polarization. At VV- polarization, the values of %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were found 3.6186, 0.9373, and 0.9428, respectively.

Keywords: soil moisture, RMSE, support vector regression, bistatic scatterometer, %Bias, NSE

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5 Disaggregation of Coarser Resolution Radiometer Derived Soil Moisture to Finer Scales

Authors: Gurjeet Singh, Rabindra K. Panda


Soil moisture is a key hydrologic state variable and is intrinsically linked to the Earth's water, climate and carbon cycles. On ecological point of view, the soil moisture is a fundamental natural resource providing the transpirable water for plants. Soil moisture varies both temporally and spatially due to spatiotemporal variation in rainfall, vegetation cover, soil properties and topography. Satellite derived soil moisture provides spatio-temporal extensive data. However, the spatial resolution of a typical satellite (L-band radiometry) is of the order of tens of kilometers, which is not good enough for developing efficient agricultural water management schemes at the field scale. In the present study, the soil moisture from radiometer data has been disaggregated using blending approach to achieve higher resolution soil moisture data. The radiometer estimates of soil moisture at a 40 km resolution have been disaggregated to 10 km, 5 km and 1 km resolutions. The disaggregated soil moisture was compared with the observed data, consisting of continuous sensor based soil moisture profile measurements, at three monitoring sites and extensive spatial near-surface soil moisture measurements, concurrent with satellite monitoring in the 500 km2 study watershed in the Eastern India. The estimated soil moisture status at different spatial scales can help in developing efficient agricultural water management schemes to increase the crop production and water use efficiency.

Keywords: soil moisture, water use efficiency, disaggregation, eastern India, radiometers

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4 The Study of Seed Coating Effects on Germination Speed of Astragalus Adscendens under Different Moisture Conditions and Planting Depth in the Boroujerd Region

Authors: Hamidreza Mehrabi, Mandana Rezayee


The coated seed process is from amplifier ways that stick various materials on the outer surface of the seeds that minimize the negative environmental effects and increase the ability of Plant establishment. This study was done to assess the effects of coated seed on the germination speed of Astragalus adscendens in different conditions of drought stress and planting depth as it was conducted with a completely randomized factorial design with four replications. treatments of covering material was used in Four non coating levels (NC), mineral-based coating (CC), organic - based coating (OC) hydro gel-based coating (HC) ; treatment of moisture percent used in three levels of dried soil content, treatments of planting depth in two surfaces of planting and three times of the seed diameter was 9%, 14% and 21 % respectively. During the test, it was evaluated the germination speed attribute. The main results showed that moisture treatments and planting depth at a surface of 1% (P <0/01) was significant and has no significant effect of treatment materials. Also, In examining of the interaction between type of covering material and soil moisture were not observed significant differences for germination speed between covering treatments and controls covering, but there was a significant difference between treatments in 9% and 21%. Although in examining the triple interaction, increasing moisture and planting depth enhanced the speed of germination process, but it was not significant statistically, while it has made important differences in terms of description; because it had not growth in the moisture level of 9% and shallow cultivation (high stress). However, treatment of covered materials growth has developed significantly, so it can be useful in enhancing plant performance.

Keywords: soil moisture, seed coating, sowing depth, germination percentage

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3 Heterogeneity of Soil Moisture and Its Impacts on the Mountainous Watershed Hydrology in Northwest China

Authors: Chansheng He, Zhongfu Wang, Xiao Bai, Jie Tian, Xin Jin


Heterogeneity of soil hydraulic properties directly affects hydrological processes at different scales. Understanding heterogeneity of soil hydraulic properties such as soil moisture is therefore essential for modeling watershed ecohydrological processes, particularly in hard to access, topographically complex mountainous watersheds. This study maps spatial variations of soil moisture by in situ observation network that consists of sampling points, zones, and tributaries, and monitors corresponding hydrological variables of air and soil temperatures, evapotranspiration, infiltration, and runoff in the Upper Reach of the Heihe River Watershed, a second largest inland river (terminal lake) with a drainage area of over 128,000 km² in Northwest China. Subsequently, the study uses a hydrological model, SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) to simulate the effects of heterogeneity of soil moisture on watershed hydrological processes. The spatial clustering method, Full-Order-CLK was employed to derive five soil heterogeneous zones (Configuration 97, 80, 65, 40, and 20) for soil input to SWAT. Results show the simulations by the SWAT model with the spatially clustered soil hydraulic information from the field sampling data had much better representation of the soil heterogeneity and more accurate performance than the model using the average soil property values for each soil type derived from the coarse soil datasets. Thus, incorporating detailed field sampling soil heterogeneity data greatly improves performance in hydrologic modeling.

Keywords: Heterogeneity, soil moisture, SWAT, up-scaling

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2 Estimation of Soil Moisture at High Resolution through Integration of Optical and Microwave Remote Sensing and Applications in Drought Analyses

Authors: Yu Li, Donglian Sun, Paul Houser, Xiwu Zhan


California experienced severe drought conditions in the past years. In this study, the drought conditions in California are analyzed using soil moisture anomalies derived from integrated optical and microwave satellite observations along with auxiliary land surface data. Based on the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) classifications, three typical drought conditions were selected for the analysis: extreme drought conditions in 2007 and 2013, severe drought conditions in 2004 and 2009, and normal conditions in 2005 and 2006. Drought is defined as negative soil moisture anomaly. To estimate soil moisture at high spatial resolutions, three approaches are explored in this study: the universal triangle model that estimates soil moisture from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Land Surface Temperature (LST); the basic model that estimates soil moisture under different conditions with auxiliary data like precipitation, soil texture, topography, and surface types; and the refined model that uses accumulated precipitation and its lagging effects. It is found that the basic model shows better agreements with the USDM classifications than the universal triangle model, while the refined model using precipitation accumulated from the previous summer to current time demonstrated the closest agreements with the USDM patterns.

Keywords: soil moisture, high resolution, regional drought, analysis and monitoring

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1 On-Farm Mechanized Conservation Agriculture: Preliminary Agro-Economic Performance Difference between Disc Harrowing, Ripping and No-Till

Authors: Godfrey Omulo, Regina Birner, Karlheinz Koller, Thomas Daum


Conservation agriculture (CA) as a climate-resilient and sustainable practice have been carried out for over three decades in Zambia. However, its continued promotion and adoption has been predominantly on a small-scale basis. Despite the plethora of scholarship pointing to the positive benefits of CA in regard to enhanced yield, profitability, carbon sequestration and minimal environmental degradation, these have not stimulated commensurate agricultural extensification desired for Zambia. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential differences between mechanized conventional and conservation tillage practices on operation time, fuel consumption, labor costs, soil moisture retention, soil temperature and crop yield. An on-farm mechanized conservation agriculture (MCA) experiment arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications was used. The research was conducted on a 15 ha of sandy loam rainfed land: soybeans on 7ha with plot dimensions of 24 m by 210 m and maize on 8ha with plot dimensions of 24 m by 250 m. The three tillage treatments were: residue burning followed by disc harrowing, ripping tillage and no-till. The crops were rotated in two subsequent seasons. All operations were done using a 60hp 2-wheel tractor, a disc harrow, a two-tine ripper and a two-row planter. Soil measurements and the agro-economic factors were recorded for two farming seasons. The season results showed that the yield of maize and soybeans under no-till and ripping tillage practices were not significantly different from the conventional burning and discing. But, there was a significant difference in soil moisture content between no-till (25.31SFU±2.77) and disced (11.91SFU±0.59) plots at depths from 10-60 cm. Soil temperature in no-till plots (24.59°C±0.91) was significantly lower compared to the disced plots (26.20°C±1.75) at the depths 15 cm and 45 cm. For maize, there was a significant difference in operation time between disc-harrowed (3.68hr/ha±1.27) and no-till (1.85hr/ha±0.04) plots, and a significant difference in cost of labor between disc-harrowed (45.45$/ha±19.56) and no-till (21.76$/ha) plots. There was no significant difference in fuel consumption between ripping and disc-harrowing and direct seeding. For soybeans, there was a significant difference in operation time between no-tillage (1.96hr/ha±0.31) and ripping (3.34hr/ha±0.53) and disc harrowing (3.30hr/ha±0.16). Further, fuel consumption and labor on no-till plots were significantly different from both the ripped and disc-harrowed plots. The high seed emergence percentage on maize disc-harrowed plot (93.75%±5.87) was not significantly different from ripping and no-till plots. Again, the high seed emergence percentage for the soybean ripped plot (93.75%±13.03) had no significant difference with discing and ripping. The results show that it is economically sound and timesaving to practice MCA and get viable yields compared to conventional farming. This research fills the gap on the potential of MCA in the context of Zambia and its profitability in incentivizing policymakers to invest in appropriate and sustainable machinery and implements for extensive agricultural production.

Keywords: soil moisture, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Zambia, labor cost, mechanized conservation agriculture

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