Using coarse remote sensing radar observations to control the trajectory of a simple Sahelian land suiface model

Abstract : In the Sahel, land surface processes are significantly interacting with climate dynamics. In this paper, we present an original method to control a simple Sahelian land surface model coupled to a radiative transfer model (RTM) on the basis of ERS wind scatterometer (WSC) observations. In a first step, a sensitivity study is implemented to identify those parameters of the land surface model that can be estimated through the assimilation of WSC data. The assimilation scheme relies on evolution strategies (ES) algorithm that aims at solving the parameter evaluation problem. These algorithms are particularly well suited for complex (nonlinear) inverse problems. The assimilation scheme is applied to several study sites located in the Sahelian mesoscale site of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis Project (Gourma region, Mali). The results are compared with ground observations of herbaceous mass. After the WSC data assimilation, the simulated herbaceous mass curves compare well with observations [187 kilogram of dry matter per hectare (kg DM/ha) of average error]. The simulated water fluxes exhibit a behaviour in agreement with ground measurements performed over similar ecosystems during the Hapex Sahel experiment. The accuracy of estimated herbaceous mass and water fluxes resulting from uncertainties on climatic forcing variable is evaluated using a stochastic approach. The average error on the herbaceous mass values mainly depends on the rainfall estimate accuracy and ranges from 139 to 268 kg DM/ha that compares well with a previous study based on the sole inversion of the radiative transfer model. Finally, this study underlines the need for a multispectral assimilation approach to get a better constraint on water fluxes estimation. D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Lionel Jarlan, Eric Mougin, P. Mazzega, Marc Schoenauer, Y. Tracol, et al.. Using coarse remote sensing radar observations to control the trajectory of a simple Sahelian land suiface model. Remote Sensing of Environment, Elsevier, 2005, 94 (2), pp.269-285. ⟨10.1016/j.rse.2004.10.005⟩. ⟨ird-00391596⟩

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