Younan, H. Nicholas

Committee Member

Fowler, James

Committee Member

Qian Du, Q. Jenny

Committee Member

Bruce, M. Lori

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Data assimilation of satellite-based observations of hydrological variables with full numerical physics models can be used to downscale these observations from coarse to high resolution to improve microwave sensor-based soil moisture observations. Moreover, assimilation can also be used to predict related hydrological variables, e.g., precipitation products can be assimilated in a land information system to estimate soil moisture. High quality spatio-temporal observations of these processes are vital for a successful assimilation which in turn needs a detailed analysis and improvement. In this research, pattern recognition and adaptive signal processing methods are developed for the spatio-temporal analysis and enhancement of soil moisture and precipitation datasets. These methods are applied to accomplish the following tasks: (i) a consistency analysis of level-3 soil moisture data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer – EOS (AMSR-E) against in-situ soil moisture measurements from the USDA Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN). This method performs a consistency assessment of the entire time series in relation to others and provides a spatial distribution of consistency levels. The methodology is based on a combination of wavelet-based feature extraction and oneclass support vector machines (SVM) classifier. Spatial distribution of consistency levels are presented as consistency maps for a region, including the states of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. These results are well correlated with the spatial distributions of average soil moisture, and the cumulative counts of dense vegetation; (ii) a modified singular spectral analysis based interpolation scheme is developed and validated on a few geophysical data products including GODAE’s high resolution sea surface temperature (GHRSST). This method is later employed to fill the systematic gaps in level-3 AMSR-E soil moisture dataset; (iii) a combination of artificial neural networks and vector space transformation function is used to fuse several high resolution precipitation products (HRPP). The final merged product is statistically superior to any of the individual datasets over a seasonal period. The results have been tested against ground based measurements of rainfall over our study area and average accuracies obtained are 85% in the summer and 55% in the winter 2007.