Worldwide, the amount of water used for agricultural purposes is rising, and the quantification of irrigation is becoming a crucial topic. Because of the limited availability of in situ observations, an increasing number of studies is focusing on the synergistic use of models and satellite data to detect and quantify irrigation. The parameterization of irrigation in large-scale land surface models (LSMs) is improving, but it is still hampered by the lack of information about dynamic crop rotations, or the extent of irrigated areas, and the mostly unknown timing and amount of irrigation. On the other hand, remote sensing observations offer an opportunity to fill this gap as they are directly affected by, and hence potentially able to detect, irrigation. Therefore, combining LSMs and satellite information through data assimilation can offer the optimal way to quantify the water used for irrigation. This work represents the first and necessary step towards building a reliable LSM data assimilation system which, in future analysis, will investigate the potential of highresolution radar backscatter observations from Sentinel-1 to improve irrigation quantification. Specifically, the aim of this study is to couple the Noah-MP LSM running within the NASA Land Information System (LIS), with a backscatter observation operator for simulating unbiased backscatter predictions over irrigated lands. In this context, we first tested how well modelled surface soil moisture (SSM) and vegetation estimates, with or without irrigation simulation, are able to capture the signal of aggregated 1 km Sentinel-1 backscatter observations over the Po Valley, an important agricultural area in northern Italy. Next, Sentinel-1 backscatter observations, together with simulated SSM and leaf area index (LAI), were used to optimize a Water Cloud Model (WCM), which will represent the observation operator in future data assimilation experiments. The WCM was calibrated with and without an irrigation scheme in Noah-MP and considering two different cost functions. Results demonstrate that using an irrigation scheme provides a better calibration of the WCM, even if the simulated irrigation estimates are inaccurate. The Bayesian optimization is shown to result in the best unbiased calibrated system, with minimal chances of having error cross-correlations between the model and observations. Our time series analysis further confirms that Sentinel-1 is able to track the impact of human activities on the water cycle, highlighting its potential to improve irrigation, soil moisture, and vegetation estimates via future data assimilation.

Optimizing a backscatter forward operator using Sentinel-1 data over irrigated land

Modanesi, Sara;Massari, Christian
;
Tarpanelli, Angelica;Morbidelli, Renato;
2021

Abstract

Worldwide, the amount of water used for agricultural purposes is rising, and the quantification of irrigation is becoming a crucial topic. Because of the limited availability of in situ observations, an increasing number of studies is focusing on the synergistic use of models and satellite data to detect and quantify irrigation. The parameterization of irrigation in large-scale land surface models (LSMs) is improving, but it is still hampered by the lack of information about dynamic crop rotations, or the extent of irrigated areas, and the mostly unknown timing and amount of irrigation. On the other hand, remote sensing observations offer an opportunity to fill this gap as they are directly affected by, and hence potentially able to detect, irrigation. Therefore, combining LSMs and satellite information through data assimilation can offer the optimal way to quantify the water used for irrigation. This work represents the first and necessary step towards building a reliable LSM data assimilation system which, in future analysis, will investigate the potential of highresolution radar backscatter observations from Sentinel-1 to improve irrigation quantification. Specifically, the aim of this study is to couple the Noah-MP LSM running within the NASA Land Information System (LIS), with a backscatter observation operator for simulating unbiased backscatter predictions over irrigated lands. In this context, we first tested how well modelled surface soil moisture (SSM) and vegetation estimates, with or without irrigation simulation, are able to capture the signal of aggregated 1 km Sentinel-1 backscatter observations over the Po Valley, an important agricultural area in northern Italy. Next, Sentinel-1 backscatter observations, together with simulated SSM and leaf area index (LAI), were used to optimize a Water Cloud Model (WCM), which will represent the observation operator in future data assimilation experiments. The WCM was calibrated with and without an irrigation scheme in Noah-MP and considering two different cost functions. Results demonstrate that using an irrigation scheme provides a better calibration of the WCM, even if the simulated irrigation estimates are inaccurate. The Bayesian optimization is shown to result in the best unbiased calibrated system, with minimal chances of having error cross-correlations between the model and observations. Our time series analysis further confirms that Sentinel-1 is able to track the impact of human activities on the water cycle, highlighting its potential to improve irrigation, soil moisture, and vegetation estimates via future data assimilation.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1499708
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 16
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 12
social impact