Satellite remote sensing land-atmosphere water and energy exchange

Funding Agency:
NASA Terrestrial Hydrology program
Principal Investigators:
John Kimball and Kyle McDonald (CalTech)


Project Details:

The lack of available water constrains hydrologic and ecological processes for two-thirds of the Earth’s land surface. We are working with colleagues at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop new satellite microwave remote sensing algorithms for detecting and monitoring land-atmosphere water and energy exchange over the continental USA. These data will provide continuous weekly-annual observations of surface evaporation and vegetation conditions from 1988 onward that can be used for a variety of applications including monitoring agricultural, rangeland and forest health, improving regional weather forecasts and water resource monitoring.

Selected Publications:

Entekhabi, D., E. Njoku, P. Houser, M. Spencer, T. Doiron, J. Smith, R. Girard, S. Belair, W. Crow, T. Jackson, Y. Kerr, J. Kimball, R. Koster, K. McDonald, P. O’Neill, T. Pultz, S. Running, J.C. Shi, E. Wood, and J. Van Zyl, 2004. The Hydrosphere State (HYDROS) mission concept: An Earth System Pathfinder for global mapping of soil moisture and land freeze/thaw. Transactions in Geoscience and Remote Sensing 42, 10, 2184-2195.

Frolking S., M. Fahnestock, T. Milliman, K. McDonald, and J.S. Kimball, 2005. Interannual variability in North American grassland biomass/productivity detected by SeaWinds scatterometer backscatter. Geophysical Research Letters, 32(21), L21409, 10.1029/2005GL024230.

Running, S.W., and J.S. Kimball, 2005. Satellite-based analysis of ecological controls for land-surface evaporation resistance. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. Vol. 5., M.G. Anderson and J.J. McDonnell (Eds.), John Wiley & Sons Ltd.