Statistical and scaling properties of remotely-sensed soil moisture in two contrasting domains in the North American monsoon region

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Characterizing soil moisture (θ) variability is important for inferring high-resolution information from coarse estimates provided by remote sensors. In this study, we analyze the spatial variability and scale invariance of high-resolution θ estimates collected in two contrasting semiarid areas, Arizona (AZ) and Sonora (SON), during the Soil Moisture Experiment - North American Monsoon in 2004 (SMEX04-NAME). Results reveal that as the mean θ condition (<θ>) becomes drier, the spatial standard deviation becomes smaller in both domains. The coefficient of variation of θ decreases with <θ> in SON, but does not display a clear tendency with <θ> in AZ. We also found the presence of scale invariance and multifractality in the range of support scales from 51.2 km to 0.8 km for all soil moisture fields in the two regions. The multifractal properties of θ are clearly linked to <θ> in SON, while the relation is affected by more dispersion in AZ. We argue this is due to differences in the dynamic (rainfall) and static (vegetation) controls on θ in the two domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-578
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume74
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Remote sensing
  • Scale invariance
  • Semiarid areas
  • Soil moisture controls
  • Spatial variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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