Erica Tetlock


DOI bib
Evaluation of SMAP Soil Moisture Retrieval Accuracy Over a Boreal Forest Region
Jaison Thomas Ambadan, Heather C. MacRae, Andreas Colliander, Erica Tetlock, Warren Helgason, Ze’ev Gedalof, Aaron Berg
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Volume 60

Estimating soil moisture (SM) over the circumpolar boreal forest would have numerous applications including wildfire risk detection, and weather prediction. Evaluation of satellite derived SM retrievals in boreal ecoregions is hindered by available in situ SM observation networks. To address this, an SM monitoring network was established in a boreal forest region in Saskatchewan, Canada. The network is unique as there are no other SM network of similar size in the boreal forest. The network consisted of 17 SM stations within a single Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite observation pixel ( <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$33\times 33$ </tex-math></inline-formula> km). We present an analysis of the sensitivity and accuracy of SMAP SM products in a boreal forest environment over a two-year period in 2018 and 2019. Results show current SMAP radiometer-based L2 SM products have higher correlation with the in situ lower mineral layer SM than with the top organic layer, although the overall correlation is low. Correlations between in situ mineral layer SM and SMAP brightness-temperature (TB) products are higher than those observed with the SMAP SM product, suggesting current SMAP SM retrieval from the TB using the <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\tau $ </tex-math></inline-formula> – <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\omega $ </tex-math></inline-formula> model introduces large uncertainties in the SM estimation, possibly from uncertain vegetation and surface parameters in the retrieval model. Results show SM can be retrieved using the <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\tau $ </tex-math></inline-formula> – <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\omega $ </tex-math></inline-formula> model with reasonable accuracy over the boreal forest provided the vegetation and soil parameters are optimized. The SM retrieval using a dual channel <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\tau $ </tex-math></inline-formula> – <inline-formula xmlns:mml="" xmlns:xlink=""> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\omega $ </tex-math></inline-formula> model, which utilize both horizontally and vertically polarized SMAP TB, performs better than that with a single channel algorithm (SCA), using optimized parameters.


DOI bib
In Situ Estimates of Freezing/Melting Point Depression in Agricultural Soils Using Permittivity and Temperature Measurements
Renato Pardo Lara, Aaron Berg, Jon Warland, Erica Tetlock
Water Resources Research, Volume 56, Issue 5

We present a method to characterize soil moisture freeze‐thaw events and freezing/melting point depression using permittivity and temperature measurements, readily available from in situ sources. In cold regions soil freeze‐thaw processes play a critical role in the surface energy and water balance, with implications ranging from agricultural yields to natural disasters. Although monitoring of the soil moisture phase state is of critical importance, there is an inability to interpret soil moisture instrumentation in frozen conditions. To address this gap, we investigated the freeze‐thaw response of a widely used soil moisture probe, the HydraProbe, in the laboratory. Soil freezing curves (SFCs) and soil thawing curves (STCs) were identified using the relationship between soil permittivity and temperature. The permittivity SFC/STC was fit using a logistic growth model to estimate the freezing/melting point depression (Tf/m) and its spread (s). Laboratory results showed that the fitting routine requires permittivity changes greater than 3.8 to provide robust estimates and suggested that a temperature bias is inherent in horizontally placed HydraProbes. We tested the method using field measurements collected over the last 7 years from the Environment and Climate Change Canada and the University of Guelph's Kenaston Soil Moisture Network in Saskatchewan, Canada. By dividing the time series into freeze‐thaw events and then into individual transitions, the permittivity SFC/STC was identified. The freezing and melting point depression for the network was estimated as Tf/m = − 0.35 ± 0.2,with Tf = − 0.41 ± 0.22 °C and Tm = − 0.29 ± 0.16 °C, respectively.


DOI bib
L-band radiometry freeze/ thaw validation using air temperature and ground measurements
Matthew A. Williamson, Tracy Rowlandson, Aaron Berg, Alexandre Roy, Peter Toose, Chris Derksen, L. Arnold, Erica Tetlock
Remote Sensing Letters, Volume 9, Issue 4

Assessment of remote sensing derived freeze/thaw products from L-band radiometry requires ground validation. There is growing interest in utilizing soil moisture networks to meet this validation re...