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On the Critical Behaviour of Observed and Simulated Spatial Soil Moisture Fields during SGP97
Dipartimento di Idraulica, Trasporti ed Infrastrutture Civili, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Fisica dell’Ambiente, Università della Basilicata, Via dell’Ateneo Lucano, 85100 Potenza, Italy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, 261 Glenbrook Road Unit 2037, Storrs, CT 06269-2037, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2010; in revised form: 30 July 2010 / Accepted: 30 August 2010 / Published: 2 September 2010
Abstract: The aircraft-based ESTAR soil moisture fields from the Southern Great Plains 1997 (SGP97) Hydrology Experiment are compared to the simulated ones obtained by Bertoldi et al.  with the GEOtop model , with a particular focus on their capability in capturing the critical point behaviour in their space-time dynamics (see ). The critical point behaviour should denote the transition of soil moisture spatial patterns from an unorganized to organized appearance, as conditions become wetter. The study region is the Little Washita watershed, located in the southwest Oklahoma, in the Southern Great Plains region of the USA. The case study takes place from June 27 to July 16 and encompasses wetting and drying cycles allowing for exploring the behaviour under transient conditions. Results show that the critical probability value is 0.85 for GEOtop, and 0.80 for ESTAR. The GEOtop patterns appear more fragmented, being more reluctant to organization, as confirmed by the higher value of critical probability. Such behaviour is probably inherited by the model’s parameterization: land use and soil classes impose additional spatial structures to those related to the meteorological forcings and the hillslope morphology, driving to higher degrees of heterogeneity.
Keywords: soil moisture; microwave radiometer; land surface model; spatial patterns; percolation theory
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Laguardia, G.; Di Domenico, A.; Gebremichael, M. On the Critical Behaviour of Observed and Simulated Spatial Soil Moisture Fields during SGP97. Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 2097-2110.
Laguardia G, Di Domenico A, Gebremichael M. On the Critical Behaviour of Observed and Simulated Spatial Soil Moisture Fields during SGP97. Remote Sensing. 2010; 2(9):2097-2110.
Laguardia, Giovanni; Di Domenico, Antonella; Gebremichael, Mekonnen. 2010. "On the Critical Behaviour of Observed and Simulated Spatial Soil Moisture Fields during SGP97." Remote Sens. 2, no. 9: 2097-2110.