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Breakout Session Discussion Forum

Breakout Session: Science Enabled by New Measurements of Soil Moisture (SMAP)

Session Date: Monday, April 28 - 2:30 PM

Chairs: John Kimball, Kyle McDonald

Purpose Statement & Core Questions (popup window)


Final Breakout Report:
  • SMAP_breakout__report.pdf -   SMAP breakout session report  Contributed/Presented by: Kimball, McDonald Kimball, McDonald Presenters/Contributors: Kimball, McDonald
    (Kimball, McDonald)
    SMAP breakout session report (.pdf)   – submitted by John Kimball at 2008-05-21 18:02:28
Breakout Reports & Presentations:
  • Measurements_SMAP_BO.ppt -   breakout session notes and draft report  Contributed/Presented by: Kimball, McDonald Kimball, McDonald Presenters/Contributors: Kimball, McDonald
    (Kimball, McDonald)
    breakout session notes and draft report (.ppt)   – submitted by John Kimball at 2008-04-29 07:03:10
  • SMAP_Overview-v1-.ppt -   SMAP overview charts from breakout  Contributed/Presented by: McDonald McDonald Presenter/Contributor: McDonald
    SMAP overview charts from breakout (.ppt)   – submitted by Kyle McDonald at 2008-05-01 10:09:06
Related Documents:
  • SMAP.pdf -   SMAP mission description  Contributed/Presented by: Decadal Survey Decadal Survey Presenter/Contributor: Decadal Survey
    (Decadal Survey)
    SMAP mission description (.pdf)   – submitted by Peter Griffith at 2008-04-24 11:40:16

1. The research communities the measure and model CH4 and N2O uptake and emission from soils would be potential users of the data products from this sensor.

2. Numerous sites in many biomes have had continuous monitoring of soil moisture for many years, including the various Fluxnets (Ameriflux, Euroflux, Asiaflux, LBA), and LTER. In the future, NEON intends to maintain a network of sites with continuous logging of soil moisture. These groups might be brought in for calibration efforts.

3. Combining the estimates of moisture content observed by SMAP with estimates of canopy water content obtained by hyperspectral data (as Greg Asner has done with Hyperion), would be an interesting way to investigate how the SMAP signal is affected by the amount and wetness of the vegetation present.

Eric Davidson
The Woods Hole Research Center

– submitted by Eric Davidson at 2008-05-10 10:54:16
I think that soil moisture estimates SMAP could be linked to Vegetation Water Content estimates from MODIS-NPP. This could improve also the soil moisture signal from high biomass areas.
– submitted by David Riano at 2008-05-02 08:31:46
Could John/Kyle post the SMAP summary charts that were presented during the breakout session? Thanks.
– submitted by Robert (Bob) Bauer at 2008-04-29 17:35:16
I think SMAP could link up with GRACE for monitoring change in soil water storage.

Change in soil moisture storage could be developed into an evapotranspiration product.

When coupled with a hydrologic model such as the Variable Infiltration Model (VIC) SMAP could be adapted for prediction of fraction of incident precipitation that is likely to runoff versus infiltrate the soil.

– submitted by Thomas Huntington at 2008-04-29 08:48:51
It may be possible to get a qualitative estimate of soil organic matter content by looking at the slope of soil drying where, for given soil types, steeper drying slopes would indicate lower soil organic matter contents.

It might be possible to develop a product that would inform the agricultural community when soil moisture declined below a threshold where irrigation would be necessary - this could improve water use efficiency in irrigated agriculture.

In terms of linkage to other projects SMAP should definitely link to teh Oklahoma Mesonet
I am not sure whether there soil moisture product is currently available but this network was unique in its geographical coverage of soil temperature and soil moiture and would be an ideal canditate for calibration, verification, and testing.

– submitted by Thomas Huntington at 2008-04-29 08:42:15
I think the major weakness with the SMAP is that natural vegetation exerts a lot of control of its water loss and can continue to transpire over a range of soil moisture content. Microwave measurements only respond to a limited depth to soil moisture which may or may not correspond to the vegetation rooting depth. I think microwave measurements need to be paired with thermal measurements which do correspond to the vegetation's use of soil moisture resources.

A area of high interest and importance for the SMAP is the importance of evaluating soil moisture in determining environments of disease vectors in public health. Many of the major public health diseases are related to insect vectors which are highly dependent on soil moisture/water bodies. Public Health is a major area in NASA's Applied Sciences program.

– submitted by Jeff Luvall at 2008-04-28 16:41:25


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