Analysis of surface and root-zone soil moisture dynamics with ERS scatterometer and the hydrometeorological model SAFRAN-ISBA-MODCOU at Grand Morin watershed (France)
Abstract. Spatial and temporal variations of soil moisture strongly affect flooding, erosion, solute transport and vegetation productivity. Its characterization, offers an avenue to improve our understanding of complex land surface-atmosphere interactions. In this paper, soil moisture dynamics at soil surface (first centimeters) and root-zone (up to 1.5 m depth) are investigated at three spatial scales: local scale (field measurements), 8×8 km2 (hydrological model) and 25×25 km2 scale (ERS scatterometer) in a French watershed. This study points out the quality of surface and root-zone soil moisture data for SIM model and ERS scatterometer for a three year period. Surface soil moisture is highly variable because is more influenced by atmospheric conditions (rain, wind and solar radiation), and presents RMSE up to 0.08 m3 m−3. On the other hand, root-zone moisture presents lower variability with small RMSE (between 0.02 and 0.06 m3 m−3). These results will contribute to satellite and model verification of moisture, but also to better application of radar data for data assimilation in future.