Activities of the international soil moisture working group
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Activities of the International Soil Moisture Working Group Peter J. van Oevelen International GEWEX Project Office [email protected] Framework International Soil Moisture Working Group GEWEX CEOP Hydrological Applications Project GRP LandFlux Space Agencies ESA NASA JAXA

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Activities of the International Soil Moisture Working Group

Peter J. van Oevelen

International GEWEX Project Office

[email protected]

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  • International Soil Moisture Working Group


    • CEOP

      • Hydrological Applications Project

    • GRP

      • LandFlux

  • Space Agencies

    • ESA

    • NASA

    • JAXA

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Rationale for in-situ network

  • There is no current global network

  • Soil Moisture is regarded as (emerging) key variable by GCOS and considered to be important in land surface feed backs

  • Temporal change is as or even more important than spatial representation

  • Modelling implementation and Data Assimilation

  • Earth Observation Validation/calibration

  • EO does not give profile information (exception multi-band SAR)

  • Increased Process Understanding

  • Needed for Hydrological Applications

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International Soil Moisture Working Group

  • 2005: Started under the IGOS-P IGWCO (Integrated Global Observing Strategy – Partnership /Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations theme)

  • March 2006: First Workshop/Meeting, The Netherlands

  • November 2007: Second Workshop/Meeting, China

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Original ISMWG Objectives

  • To support international cooperation in research and applications in support of soil moisture satellite missions;

  • To support the development of an in-situ global soil moisture network;

  • To protect satellite missions dealing with soil moisture observations.

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Participation and Needs

  • Global participation: identify key people and organizations worldwide;

  • Leadership from established programs (in-situ and satellite);

  • Definition of achievable goals (in-situ networks, satellite products);

  • Identify resources to enhance in-situ expansion and contributions to satellite/model validation.

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ISMWG Commitments

  • Commits to a global network of in-situ soil moisture measurements

    • Lead international agency: GEWEX

    • Workshops (Bring together key people, establish goals, current activities, standards)

      • Noordwijk, ESTEC March 2006: Done

      • Beijing, IAP, November 2007: Done

    • Resources for enhancing unrepresented regions:

      • Key area unresolved

    • Data archival and distribution:

      • Current Lead: Portuguese Institute of Meteorology

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ISMWG Commitments II

  • Commits to developing a quasi-operational soil moisture data product

    • Quality and relevance of current products: tbd

    • International support for planned dedicated missions may require commitment by missions to provide a timely product: GEO

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Second ISMWG Workshop

  • Held on November 14 and 15, 2007 at LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

  • 22 Registered Participants and 15 Students and Post-Docs

  • ~20 Presentations

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Why this workshop in 2007?

  • Build upon First Workshop and increase coordination

  • Review individual activities

  • Identify best practices

  • Set goals for observing system integration

  • Role of in-situ in satellite product validation-specific design standards

  • How do we affect changes to existing protocols, expand (especially developing regions of the world), affiliate with a group with $$?

  • Identify the next steps

  • Report….GEWEX News?

  • Initiate Set-up of the Data Hosting Center

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In-Situ Measurement Protocol

  • Uniformity

  • Representative

  • Consistency

  • (Cross-)Calibration/Validation

    • Site specific calibration: absolutely

    • Temperature: pref. At each depth and for each sensor

    • Soil Texture & Bulkdensity: needed

  • Relationship with gravimetric soil moisture is standard

  • Careful automation

  • Quality Assurance

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In-Situ Measurement Protocol (2)

  • Density/depth/number of sensors

    • 5, 20 and 50 cm below surface

  • Units of representation

    • Volumetric or fractional between 0 and 1

  • Soil Moisture Definition

  • Soil texture description & soil hydraulic properties

    • Which metadata?

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Network Design

  • Density

  • Continuity

  • Data delivery/in-take, distribution & archiving (see next)

  • Metadata (see next)

  • Capacity Building

    • Training

    • Involvement LDC's

  • Linking Existing Networks (see next)

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Data Hosting

  • Data delivery/in-take, distribution & archiving

  • Metadata

  • Linking Existing Networks

  • ESA to support data hosting activity within framework of SMOS Cal/Val activities

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ISMWG Meeting 2007

  • As with the first meeting Spirit was very cooperative!

  • Openness and willingness to different views and opinions

  • Deemed very useful and worth keeping the momentum

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Topics for Consideration

  • How to stimulate contribution of data to data hosting center?

    • Rationale, all the reasons there are to not sit on your data but share…

  • How and who will get access to what?

  • A team is needed to start looking at instruments (intercomparison etc.)

  • Support for data hosting continuation (SMOS and beyond)

  • What else do we NEED to do?

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Past Critical Issues

  • Data from outside of North-America and Europe

  • Loss of momentum with delay of SMOS launch

  • Separation of communities (both US vs Europe as well as agricultural vs hydrological)

  • Links to GEO and GEOSS (currently one of the water subtasks)

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ISMWG Future

  • The Proposed New Structure and Embedding within GEWEX

  • The embedding of the ISMWG in the GEWEX Radiation Panel (GRP) requires a few changes in the so far loose structure. Proposed is a three tier system which is guided by a board consisting of the (co-)chairs of each of the tiers plus ex-officio members.

  • Consistent with other GRP activities

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Tier 1: Validation:

  • Development of Global In-Situ Soil Moisture network and data sets to support validation of satellite soil moisture retrieval and assimilation

    • Data Hosting, Measurement Protocols

  • Validation of Satellite Soil Moisture Products and Soil Moisture Intercomparison Projects

    • Links all three tiers

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Tier 2: Assimilation

  • The assimilation of soil moisture and satellite data (both active and passive ) into numerical weather prediction and hydrological modeling for both forecasting as well as process studies.

    • Important to show usefulness

    • Expand to yield forecasting

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Tier 3: Product fusion and merging

  • Development of long term consistent global soil moisture products (and their derivatives)

    • Combining various sources of data (PM, AM, In-Situ)

    • Climate/Trend research robust

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Key Activities 2009

  • ISMWG Custodian Soil Moisture Network in GTN-H

  • Workshops: Next (3rd)Workshop, Lisboa, Portugal (March 10, 11 2009)

  • Website:

  • Data Hosting Center kick-off

  • Link/interact/alignment with other relevant activities such as by NOAA