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Mesoscale Monitoring of Soil Moisture across a Statewide Network

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  • 1 Oklahoma Climatological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 2 USDA-ARS, Stoneville, Missouri
  • | 3 Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • | 4 University of Idaho, Boise, Idaho
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Abstract

Soil moisture is an important component in many hydrologic and land–atmosphere interactions. Understanding the spatial and temporal nature of soil moisture on the mesoscale is vital to determine the influence that land surface processes have on the atmosphere. Recognizing the need for improved in situ soil moisture measurements, the Oklahoma Mesonet, an automated network of 116 remote meteorological stations across Oklahoma, installed Campbell Scientific 229-L devices to measure soil moisture conditions. Herein, background information on the soil moisture measurements, the technical design of the soil moisture network embedded within the Oklahoma Mesonet, and the quality assurance (QA) techniques applied to the observations are provided. This project also demonstrated the importance of operational QA regarding the data collected, whereby the percentage of observations that passed the QA procedures increased significantly once daily QA was applied.

Corresponding author address: Bradley G. Illston, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Suite 2900, Norman, OK 73072-7305. Email: illston@ou.edu

Abstract

Soil moisture is an important component in many hydrologic and land–atmosphere interactions. Understanding the spatial and temporal nature of soil moisture on the mesoscale is vital to determine the influence that land surface processes have on the atmosphere. Recognizing the need for improved in situ soil moisture measurements, the Oklahoma Mesonet, an automated network of 116 remote meteorological stations across Oklahoma, installed Campbell Scientific 229-L devices to measure soil moisture conditions. Herein, background information on the soil moisture measurements, the technical design of the soil moisture network embedded within the Oklahoma Mesonet, and the quality assurance (QA) techniques applied to the observations are provided. This project also demonstrated the importance of operational QA regarding the data collected, whereby the percentage of observations that passed the QA procedures increased significantly once daily QA was applied.

Corresponding author address: Bradley G. Illston, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Suite 2900, Norman, OK 73072-7305. Email: illston@ou.edu

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