Hydrological links between cosmic-ray soil moisture retrievals and remotely sensed evapotranspiration across a semi-arid pasture site

Raghavendra Belur Jana, Ali Ershadi, Matthew McCabe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Soil moisture and land surface evaporation, which includes soil evaporation, canopy interception and transpiration processes, are key factors affecting water cycle behavior and feedbacks between the land surface and the atmosphere at a range of scales. Measurement of soil moisture at intermediate resolutions is a challenge that has been addressed to a certain extent by the Cosmic Ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS). We present here a study to examine the link between the COSMOS soil moisture retrievals and evapotranspiration (ET) estimates obtained from remote sensing at a semi-arid pasture site near Baldry, in the central-west of New South Wales, Australia. COSMOS soil moisture was compared to ET estimates obtained by applying the PT-JPL method to remote sensing products of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Ancillary data included air temperature, humidity, and radiation components. Use of Quartile-Quartile (Q-Q) plots and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with box plots provide a graphical estimate for the similarity of the distributions of the two quantities. The relationships were tested across the entire period of record, as well as across shorter periods in order to analyze local scale discrepancies. Results show that the COSMOS soil moisture, which is representative of much of the root zone of the pasture field, is well correlated with the modeled ET under most conditions. It was also noted that under high soil moisture conditions with low temperatures, the PT-JPL method produced ET values inconsistent with measurements from a local eddy covariance tower, and also with the COSMOS soil moisture. This leads to further investigations regarding appropriate models for particular conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Partnering with Industry and the Community for Innovation and Impact through Modelling, MODSIM 2015 - Held jointly with the 23rd National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research and the DSTO led Defence Operations Research Symposium, DORS 2015
PublisherModelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (MSSANZ)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780987214355
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


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