Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Franz, T. E., T. Wang, W. Avery, C. Finkenbiner, and L. Brocca (2015), Combined analysis of soil moisture measurements from roving and fixed cosmic ray neutron probes for multiscale real-time monitoring, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 3389–3396


©2015 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Soil moisture partly controls land-atmosphere mass and energy exchanges and ecohydrological processes in natural and agricultural systems. Thus, many models and remote sensing products continue to improve their spatiotemporal resolution of soil moisture, with some land surface models reaching 1 km resolution. However, the reliability and accuracy of both modeled and remotely sensed soil moisture require comparison with ground measurements at the appropriate spatiotemporal scales. One promising technique is the cosmic ray neutron probe. Here we further assess the suitability of this technique for real-time monitoring across a large area by combining data from three fixed probes and roving surveys over a 12 km× 12km area in eastern Nebraska. Regression analyses indicated linear relationships between the fixed probe averages and roving estimates of soil moisture for each grid cell, allowing us to derive an 8 h product at spatial resolutions of 1, 3, and 12km, with root-mean-square error of 3%, 1.8%, and 0.9%.