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2018WCRPspon col July2018 01 1

I Gouttevin: Surface soil moisture at high latitudes: comparison between models and satellite data.


This presentation was held at the DUE Permafrost 2014 workshop, 11 Febuary 2014, Frascati, Italy


Gouttevin, Isabelle
EPFL (Lausanne), previously LGGE (France), Lausanne Switzerland

Soil moisture is an essential climate variable, with implications in the modulation of river discharges, the generation of atmospheric soil moisture, vegetation growth and the carbon cycle. Yet, land surface models struggle to capture it with accuracy. Here, the satellite surface soil moisture product retrieved from the Ascat sensor and optimized for high-latitude regions within the DUE-permafrost project, is compared to results by different modelling plateforms. The areas of agreement and disagreement between the remote-sensing product and the model output are identified and analysed. The models generally capture well the modulation of soil moisture at daily time-scales, except in the coastal regions of North-Eastern Siberia where the forcing data is more uncertain and subsurface ice-rich permafrost dynamics may play a significant role. The soil moisture seasonality in models diverges from observations in a few regions, among them in the Western Siberian Lowlands. Possible causes of this discrepancy include the representation of temporal water bodies in link with topography; lateral water redistribution; and active layer dynamics in this discontinuous permafrost zone.

Keywords: Permafrost - high latitudes climate - land surface model - carbon cycle - snow/forest interactions


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