Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-358
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
12 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Multiscale soil moisture estimates using static and roving cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors
David McJannet1, Aaron Hawdon2, Brett Baker2, Luigi Renzullo3, and Ross Searle1 1CSIRO Land and Water, Eco Sciences Precinct, Dutton Park, QLD, Australia
2CSIRO Land and Water, ATSIP, James Cook University, QLD, Australia
3CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Abstract. Soil moisture plays a critical role in land surface processes and as such there has been a recent increase in the number and resolution of satellite soil moisture observations and development of land surface process models with ever increasing resolution. Despite these developments, validation and calibration of these products has been limited because of a lack of observations at corresponding scales. A recently developed mobile soil moisture monitoring platform, known as the rover, offers opportunities to overcome this scale issue. This paper describes a research project aimed at producing soil moisture estimates at a range of scales that are commensurate with model and satellite retrievals. Our investigation involved static cosmic ray neutron sensors and rover surveys across both broad (36 × 36 km at 9 km resolution) and intensive (10 × 10 km at 1 km resolution) scales in a cropping district in the Mallee region of Victoria, Australia. We describe approaches for converting rover survey neutron counts to soil moisture and discuss the factors controlling soil moisture variability. Measurements revealed that temporal patterns in soil moisture were preserved through time and regression modelling approaches were utilised to produce time series of property scale soil moisture which may also have application in calibration and validation studies or local farm management. Intensive scale rover surveys produced reliable soil moisture estimates at 1 km resolution while broad scale surveys produced soil moisture estimates at 9 km resolution. We conclude that the multiscale soil moisture products produced in this study are well suited to future analysis of satellite soil moisture retrievals and finer scale soil moisture models.

Citation: McJannet, D., Hawdon, A., Baker, B., Renzullo, L., and Searle, R.: Multiscale soil moisture estimates using static and roving cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-358, in review, 2017.
David McJannet et al.
David McJannet et al.

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Short summary
Satellite and broad-scale model estimates of soil moisture have improved in resolution, however validation and calibration of these products has been limited because of a lack of observations at corresponding scales. We use a mobile soil moisture monitoring platform, known as the rover to derive soil moisture at 9 km and 1 km resolution. We describe methods to calculate soil moisture and present results from multiple surveys. The products produced are well suited to validation studies.
Satellite and broad-scale model estimates of soil moisture have improved in resolution, however...
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