Research Title: Land Surface Hydrology
Funding Level (millions of dollars):
Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Natural variability (75%); Large-scale changes in land-use (15%); Water availability and allocation (10%)
(c) Research Activity: System structure and function: Observations (20%); Understanding (80%)
Office of Mission to Planet Earth
Washington, DC 20546
Point of Contact:
Ming Ying Wei
To develop understanding, modeling and prediction of continental water cycle processes, with particular emphasis on remote sensing and four-dimensional data assimilation of precipitation and soil moisture.
NASA's Water Cycle Processes Program supports research in three interweaving categories aimed at improving the observation and theory of continental water cycle processes which contribute to the variability of the ocean-atmosphere-land system; the categories are:
Observational studies of hydrologic variables, e.g. precipitation, soil moisture (40%).
Diagnostic and analytical studies of land surface hydrology and land-atmosphere exchange of energy and water (40%), including scaling of the dynamic behavior of the atmospheric boundary layer and land surface water and energy balance in both freezing (snow and ice) and non-freezing environments, in the presence of topography.
Development of coupled meteorological-hydrological models, including four- dimensional data assimilation techniques (20%), with emphasis on the reciprocal influences between regional and global climate and land cover/use change.
WCRP's GEWEX Continental-scale International Project (GCIP), the International Satellite Land-Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP), and IGBP's Biological Aspect of Hydrological Cycle (BAHC).
January 1994: Soil Moisture Workshop conducted in Tiburon, CA; feasibility project of data assimilation for soil moisture initiated in 1995.
(a) A demonstration of an observational strategy for soil climate based on the combined use of remote sensing and in situ data and physically--based models, a technique well exploited in meteorology and, to some extent, oceanography. (b) Provision of process-level understanding to global water cycle and Earth System modeling and prediction. (c) A better scientific basis for assessing consequences of changes in land and water management (e.g., irrigation, deforestation). (d) Provision of timely information for agricultural planning.