Stratified drought analysis using a stochastic ensemble of simulated and in-situ soil moisture observations

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This study proposes a multi-wavelet Bayesian ensemble of two Land Surface Models (LSMs) using in-situ observations for accurate estimation of soil moisture for Contiguous United States (CONUS). In the absence of a continuous, accurate in-situ soil moisture dataset at high spatial resolution, an ensemble of Noah and Mosaic LSMs is derived by performing a Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) of several wavelet-based multi-resolution regression models (WR) of the simulated soil moisture from the LSMs and in-situ volumetric soil moisture dataset obtained from the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) field stations. This provides a proxy to the in-situ soil moisture dataset at 1/8th degree spatial resolution called Hybrid Soil Moisture (HSM) for three soil layers (1–10 cm, 10–40 cm and 40–100 cm) for the CONUS. The derived HSM is used further to study the layer-wise response of soil moisture to drought, highlighting the necessity of the ensemble approach and soil profile perspective for drought analysis. A correlation analysis between HSM, the long-term (PDSI, PHDI, SPI-9, SPI-12 and SPI-24) and the short-term (Palmer Z index, SPI-1 and SPI-6) drought indices is carried out for the nine climate regions of the U.S. indicating a higher sensitivity of soil moisture to drought conditions for the Southern U.S. Furthermore, a layer-wise soil moisture percentile approach is proposed and applied for drought reconstruction in CONUS with a focus on the Southern U.S. for the year 2011.




Sehgal, V., Sridhar, V., & Tyagi, A. (2017). Stratified drought analysis using a stochastic ensemble of simulated and in-situ soil moisture observations. Journal of Hydrology, 545, 226–250.

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