See more from this Session: General Soil Physics: II (Includes Graduate Student Competition)
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
The Oklahoma Mesonet is an unparalleled environmental monitoring system widely used in research efforts in hydrometeorology, hydroclimatology, as well as surface and vadose zone hydrology. These projects frequently require knowledge of soil physical properties. However, direct measurements of many of the necessary properties have not been completed for the Mesonet system. Therefore, a comprehensive database of soil physical, thermal, and hydraulic properties was completed for the 120 Mesonet stations. Detailed information about the Mesonet stations soils will facilitate more meaningful interpretations of the spatial and temporal variations of soil moisture and temperature for enhanced drought monitoring, spatial modeling, and hydrologic prediction. Preliminary results show increased accuracy of soil moisture estimates based on the new database because the Mesonet sensors record soil matric potential which is converted to water content through the site specific retention curve. Previously estimated water retention curve parameters resulted in volumetric water content RMSE of 0.066 cm3 cm-3 when compared to known values; whereas the new parameters resulted in a RMSE of 0.038 cm3 cm-3. A detailed soil property database of the Mesonet stations soils will enable more accurate soil water content monitoring as well as the development of improved drought monitoring tools, and will open new research opportunities using the already extensive data that the system provides.