Hydrological models play an essential role in data assimilation (DA) systems. However, it is a challenging task to acquire the distributed hydrological model parameters that affect the accuracy of the simulations at a grid scale. Remote sensing data provide an ideal observation for DA to estimate parameters and state variables. In this study, a special assimilation scheme was proposed to jointly estimate parameters and soil moisture (SM) by assimilating brightness temperature (TB) from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. Variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrological model and L-band microwave emission of the biosphere model (L-MEB) are coupled as model and observation operators, respectively. The scheme combines two stages of estimators, one for the static model parameters and the other for the dynamic state variables. The estimators approximate the posterior probability distribution of an unknown target through sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) sampling. Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and immune evolution strategy are embedded in both stages to solve particle impoverishment problems. To evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme, the estimated SM sets are compared with in-situ observations and SMOS products in Maqu on the Tibetan Plateau. Specifically, the root mean square error decreased from 0.126 to 0.087 m3
for surface SM, with a slight impact on the root zone. The temporal correlation between DA results and in-situ measurements increased to 0.808 and 0.755 for surface SM (+0.057) and root zone SM (+0.040), respectively. The results demonstrate that assimilating TB has tremendous potential as an approach to improve the estimation of distributed model parameters and SMs of surface and root zone at a grid scale, and the immune evolution strategy is effective for increasing the accuracy of approximation in sampling.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited