Soil moisture is a key variable in hydrological modelling, which could be estimated by land surface modelling. However the previous studies have focused on evaluating these soil moisture estimates by using point-based measurements, and there is a lack of attention for their appraisal over basin scales particularly for hydrological applications. In this study, we carry out for the first time, a detailed evaluation of five sources of soil moisture products (NLDAS-2 multi-model simulated soil moistures: Noah, VIC, Mosaic and SAC; and a ground observation), against a widely used hydrological model Xinanjiang (XAJ) as a benchmark at a U.S. basin. Generally speaking, all products have good agreements with the hydrological soil moisture simulation, with superior performance obtained from the SAC model and the VIC model. Furthermore, the results indicate that the in-situ measurements in deeper soil layer are still usable for hydrological applications. Nevertheless further improvement is still required on the definition of land surface model layer thicknesses and the related data fusion with the remotely sensed soil moisture. The potential usage of the NLDAS-2 soil moisture datasets in real-time flood forecasting is discussed.
- Water and Environmental Engineering
- Hydrological modelling
- Land surface modelling
- Soil moisture deficit