Real surface soil moisture retrieved from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite is downscaled and assimilated in a fully integrated hydrological and soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (MIKE SHE SW-ET) model using a bias aware ensemble transform Kalman filter (Bias-ETKF). Satellite-derived soil moisture assimilation in a catchment scale model is typically restricted by two challenges: (1) passive microwave is too coarse for direct assimilation and (2) the data tend to be biased. The solution proposed in this study is to disaggregate the SMOS bias using a higher resolution land cover classification map that was derived from Landsat thermal images. Using known correlations between SMOS bias and vegetation type, the assimilation filter is adapted to calculate biases online, using an initial bias estimate. Real SMOS-derived soil moisture is assimilated in a precalibrated catchment model in Denmark. The objective is to determine if any additional gains can be achieved by SMOS surface soil moisture assimilation beyond the optimized model. A series of assimilation experiments were designed to (1) determine how effectively soil moisture corrections propagate downward in the soil column, (2) compare the efficacy of in situ versus SMOS assimilation, and (3) determine how soil moisture assimilation affects fluxes and discharge in the catchment. We find that assimilation of SMOS improved R 2 soil moisture correlations in the upper 5 cm compared to a network of 30 in situ sensors for most land cover classes. Assimilation also brought modest gains in R 2 at 25 cm depth but slightly degraded the correlation at 50 cm depth. Assimilation overcorrected discharge peaks.
- Programområde 2: Vandressourcer