NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Assimilation of Surface Temperature in Land Surface ModelsHydrological models have been calibrated and validated using catchment streamflows. However, using a point measurement does not guarantee correct spatial distribution of model computed heat fluxes, soil moisture and surface temperatures. With the advent of satellites in the late 70s, surface temperature is being measured two to four times a day from various satellite sensors and different platforms. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate use of satellite surface temperature in (a) validation of model computed surface temperatures and (b) assimilation of satellite surface temperatures into a hydrological model in order to improve the prediction accuracy of soil moistures and heat fluxes. The assimilation is carried out by comparing the satellite and the model produced surface temperatures and setting the "true"temperature midway between the two values. Based on this "true" surface temperature, the physical relationships of water and energy balance are used to reset the other variables. This is a case of nudging the water and energy balance variables so that they are consistent with each other and the true" surface temperature. The potential of this assimilation scheme is demonstrated in the form of various experiments that highlight the various aspects. This study is carried over the Red-Arkansas basin in the southern United States (a 5 deg X 10 deg area) over a time period of a year (August 1987 - July 1988). The land surface hydrological model is run on an hourly time step. The results show that satellite surface temperature assimilation improves the accuracy of the computed surface soil moisture remarkably.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Lakshmi, Venkataraman (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.