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Parameter conditioning with a noisy Monte Carlo genetic algorithm for estimating effective soil hydraulic properties from space

Ines, Amor Valeriano M.; Mohanty, Binayak P.

The estimation of effective soil hydraulic parameters and their uncertainties is a critical step in all large-scale hydrologic and climatic model applications. Here a scale-dependent (top-down) parameter estimation (inverse modeling) scheme called the noisy Monte Carlo genetic algorithm (NMCGA) was developed and tested for estimating these effective soil hydraulic parameters and their uncertainties. We tested our method using three case studies involving a synthetic pixel (pure and mixed) where all modeling conditions are known, and with actual airborne remote sensing (RS) footprints and a satellite RS footprint. In the synthetic case studies under pure (one soil texture) and mixed-pixel (multiple soil textures) conditions, NMCGA performed well in estimating the effective soil hydraulic parameters even with pixel complexities contributed by various soil types and land management practices (rain-fed/irrigated). With the airborne and satellite remote sensing cases, NMCGA also performed well for estimating effective soil hydraulic properties so that when applied in forward stochastic simulation modeling it can mimic large-scale soil moisture dynamics. The results also suggest a possible scaling down of the effective soil water retention curve (h) at the larger satellite remote sensing pixel compared with the airborne remote sensing pixel. However, it did not generally imply that all effective soil hydraulic parameters should scale down like the soil water retention curve. The reduction of the soil hydraulic parameters was most profound in the saturated soil moisture content ( sat) as we relaxed progressively the soil hydraulic parameter search spaces in our satellite remote sensing studies. Overall, the NMCGA framework was found to be very promising in the inverse modeling of remotely sensed near-surface soil moisture for estimating the effective soil hydraulic parameters and their uncertainties at the remote sensing footprint/climate model grid.

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Title
Water Resources Research
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1029/2007WR006125

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Published Here
September 8, 2011
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