A model framework for parameterized subgrid-scale surface fluxes (PASS) has been modified and applied as PASS1 to use satellite data, models, and limited surface observations to infer root-zone available moisture (RAM) content with high spatial resolution over large terrestrial areas. Data collected during the 1997 Cooperative Atmosphere–Surface Exchange Study field campaign at the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiments site in the Walnut River watershed in Kansas were used to evaluate applications of the PASS1 approach to infer soil moisture content at times of satellite overpasses during cloudless conditions. Data from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers on the NOAA-14 satellite were collected and then adjusted for atmospheric effects by using LOWTRAN7 and local atmospheric profile data from radiosondes. The input variables for PASS1 consisted of normalized difference vegetation index and surface radiant temperature, together with representative observations of downwelling solar irradiance, air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. Surface parameters, including roughness length, albedo, surface conductance for water vapor, and the ratio of soil heat flux to net radiation, were estimated with parameterizations suitable for the area using satellite data and land-use information; pixel-specific near-surface meteorological conditions such as air temperature, vapor pressure, and wind speed were adjusted according to local surface forcing; and RAM content was estimated using surface energy balance and aerodynamic methods. Comparisons with radar cumulative precipitation observations and in situ soil moisture estimates indicated that the spatial and temporal variations of RAM at the times of satellite overpasses were simulated reasonably well by PASS1.
Song, Jie; Wesely, M.L.; Coulter, R.L.; and Brandes, E.A., "Estimating Watershed Evapotranspiration with PASS. Part I: Inferring Root-Zone Moisture Conditions Using Satellite Dat" (2000). Faculty Peer-Reviewed Publications. 877.
Department of Geography
American Meteorological Society