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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Assessment of Remotely Sensed Near-Surface Soil Moisture for Distributed Eco-Hydrological Model Implementation

Echeverria, Carlos; Ruiz-Perez, Guiomar; Puertes, Cristina; Samaniego, Luis; Barrett, Brian; Frances, Felix


The aim of this study was to implement an eco-hydrological distributed model using only remotely sensed information (soil moisture and leaf area index) during the calibration phase. Four soil moisture-based metrics were assessed, and the best alternative was chosen, which was a metric based on the similarity between the principal components that explained at least 95% of the soil moisture variation and the Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) index between simulated and observed surface soil moisture. The selected alternative was compared with a streamflow-based calibration approach. The results showed that the streamflow-based calibration approach, even presenting satisfactory results in the calibration period (NSE = 0.91), performed poorly in the validation period (NSE = 0.47) and Leaf Area Index (LAI) and soil moisture were neither sensitive to the spatio-temporal pattern nor to the spatial correlation in both calibration and validation periods. Hence, the selected soil moisture-based approach showed an acceptable performance in terms of discharges, presenting a negligible decrease in the validation period (Delta NSE = 0.1) and greater sensitivity to the spatio-temporal variables' spatial representation.


eco-hydrological modelling; remotely sensed soil moisture; objective-function; spatial correlation

Published in

2019, Volume: 11, number: 12, article number: 2613
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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