Soil water content in southern England derived from a cosmic-ray soil moisture observing system - COSMOS-UK

Evans, J.G. ORCID:; Ward, H.C.; Blake, J.R.; Hewitt, E.J.; Morrison, R.; Fry, M.; Ball, L.A.; Doughty, L.C.; Libre, J.W.; Hitt, O.E.; Rylett, D.; Ellis, R.J.; Warwick, A.C.; Brooks, M.; Parkes, M.A.; Wright, G.M.H.; Singer, A.C.; Boorman, D.B. ORCID:; Jenkins, A.. 2016 Soil water content in southern England derived from a cosmic-ray soil moisture observing system - COSMOS-UK. Hydrological Processes, 30 (26). 4987-4999.

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Cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors have the advantage of a large measurement footprint (approximately 700 m in diameter) and are able to operate continuously to provide area-averaged near-surface (top 10-20 cm) volumetric soil moisture content at the field scale. This paper presents the application of this technique at four sites in southern England over almost 3 years. Results show the soil moisture response to contrasting climatic conditions during 2011-2014, and are the first such field-scale measurements made in the UK. These four sites are prototype stations for a UK COsmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS-UK), and particular consideration is given to sensor operating conditions in the UK. Comparison of these soil water content observations with the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) 10 cm soil moisture layer shows that these data can be used to test and diagnose model performance, and indicates the potential for assimilation of these data into hydro-meteorological models. The application of these large-area soil water content measurements to evaluate remotely-sensed soil moisture products is also demonstrated. Numerous applications and the future development of a national COSMOS-UK network are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
Directors, SCs
Rees (from October 2014)
ISSN: 0885-6087
Additional Keywords: soil water content, soil moisture, COSMOS, COSMOS-UK, JULES, soil moisture deficit, cosmic-ray soil moisture sensor, ASCAT
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 27 Jul 2016 13:34 +0 (UTC)

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