Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
The North Carolina Environmental and Climate Observing Network (NC ECONet) is a near real-time point-based weather monitoring network operated by the State Climate Office of North Carolina. The network consists of 34 stations statewide; currently, the network provides soil moisture monitoring data at a single depth (15 cm) at each station. Monitoring sites were chosen to provide maximum spatial coverage instead of representing soil moisture conditions in major units within the State. This leads to significant uncertainty in estimating soil water conditions in the whole monitoring coverage area (since soil moisture is influenced by soil type, topography, vegetation, and land management). Investigation of the connection between soil moisture data at these monitoring locations and regional soil moisture status for the diverse soil and land properties in the areas they represent is vital to promote data application. By increasing the reliability of the data, the accuracy of forecasting climate and hydrologic events can be enhanced, which is a benefit for all North Carolina citizens. Our current research goal is to improve the interpretation of the soil moisture data obtained from monitoring sites. We are investigating the feasibility for linking data from monitoring sites with soil properties (i.e., soil texture, bulk density, water release characteristics). We have begun characterizing soil properties at monitoring sites and exploring the temporal and spatial relationships among soil moisture observations from NC.