A global Bayesian sensitivity analysis of the 1d SimSphere soil-vegetation-atmospheric transfer (SVAT) model using Gaussian model emulation

G Petropoulos, MJ Wooster, TN Carlson, MC Kennedy, M Scholze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sensitivity analysis consists of an integral and important validatory check of a computer simulation model before the code is used in per-forming any kind of analysis operation. The present paper demonstrates the use of a relatively new method and tool for conducting global sensitivity analysis (GSA) for environmental models, providing simultaneously the first GSA study of the widely used 1d soil-vegetation-atmospheric transfer (SVAT) model named SimSphere. A software platform called the Gaussian emulation machine for sensitivity analysis (GEM SA), which has been developed for performing a GSA via Bayesian theory, is applied to SimSphere model in order to identify the most responsive model inputs to the simulation of key model outputs, detect their interactions and derive absolute sensitivity measures concerning the model structure. This study is also very timely in that, use of this particular SVAT model is currently being considered to be used in a scheme being developed for the operational retrieval of the soil surface moisture content by National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), in a series of satellite platforms that are due to be launched in the next 12 years starting from 2016. The employed GSA method was found capable of identifying the most responsive SimSphere inputs and also of capturing their key interactions for each of the simulated target quantities on which the GSA was conducted. The most sensitive model inputs were the topography parameters (slope, aspect) as well as the fractional vegetation cover and soil surface moisture availability. The implications of these findings for the future use of SimSphere are discussed. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Translated title of the contributionA global Bayesian sensitivity analysis of the 1d SimSphere soil-vegetation-atmospheric transfer (SVAT) model using Gaussian model emulation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2427 - 2440
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Modelling
Volume220
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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