Seminar: Assimilation of Soil Moisture Data into Agricultural Drought and Hydrological Predictions

Assimilation of Soil Moisture Data into Agricultural Drought and Hydrological Predictions

Presented by:
Dr. Di Liu
Associate Professor
HoHai University, China

Date: Wednesday January 31, 2024
Time: 10 am MST / 11am CST
Location: Zoom (Click here to register)

Soil moisture plays an important role in the global water and energy cycle. The anomalies of soil moisture may exert great impact on the subsequent climate variables, thus, leading to the evolution of climate extremes (e.g., flood, drought and heat wave) by linking hydroclimatic fluxes at different spatio-temporal scales. With the development of satellite and remote sensing techniques, as well as the machine learning and data assimilation technique, multi-sources of soil moisture products are available for the application in the agricultural and hydrological fields. This topic shares some cases about the soil moisture data assimilation at different soil depth from surface to root zone, and the application of multi-sources of soil moisture in the agricultural and hydrological fluxes simulation and forecast. It is found that machine learning technique (i.e., support vector machine) combined with data assimilation technique (i.e., Ensemble Kalman Filtering) could improve the soil moisture estimation at deep zone. The assimilation of remote sensing soil moisture could efficiently improve the forecasting of near-real time agricultural drought (quantified using soil water deficit index (SWDI)) at most stations. Such improvement can persist up to 2-4-week lead time. The assimilation of remote sensing soil mositure into the community land surface model (CLM4.5) model can improve the SM simulations, as well as other hydrological fluxes (i.e., ET, surface runoff), especially over the climate transition zones in Africa, East Australia, South South America, Southeast Asia, and East North America in summer season. The Local Ensemble Kalman Filter (LEnKF) technique improves the performance of CLM4.5 model compared to the directly substituted method.

Register Here

Seminar by Dr. Siqiong Luo

Dr. Siqiong Luo, GWF visiting researcher from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, China, will present a seminar on Simulation of soil temperature and moisture conditions on the Tibetan Plateau. 

The Tibetan Plateau is a particularly sensitive region to the globe warming. The soil temperature and moisture conditions and their changes on the Tibetan Plateau will have profound effects on surface energy and water exchanges and leading to further climate change. The aim of this presentation is to discuss the soil temperature and moisture conditions which was simulated by land surface model on the Tibetan Plateau from 1961–2010.

The seminar will take place at 12 pm (CST) on May 30, 2018 in NHRC 1261 (seminar room). This event will also be available via WebEx. Details are as follows: │Attend a Meeting │ 928 292 276

Seminar by Dr. Patrick Lloyd-Smith

Please join us for a seminar with Dr. Patrick Lloyd-Smith, Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan. The presentation will be on Assessing Ecological Infrastructure Investments in the Panama Canal Watershed. 

Ecosystems are infrastructure that provide beneficial services to people. Changing ecosystems to enhance services are investments that carry a cost. For ecological infrastructure to play a serious role in society’s infrastructure portfolio, ecological infrastructure investment projects must be assessed beforehand and compared to alternative gray infrastructure investments. We illustrate ecological infrastructure is neither a panacea nor pipe dream by merging natural and social science in an application to the Panama Canal Watershed. Ecological infrastructure can play a targeted role in the Panama Canal Watershed, but is unlikely to be price competitive at the scale required to manage water for the canal. Physical and social constraints limit the ability to acquire ecological infrastructure, which is a barrier to scaling up ecological infrastructure.

The seminar takes place on May 22 at 12 pm CST in 1261 NHRC (seminar room).

Himalayan Research Seminar on Monday 6th February

Dr Joe Shea, who is a Research Scientist at the U. of S. Centre for Hydrology and a
Visiting Scientist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal, will present a seminar titled Snow, Ice, Rivers, and Earthquakes: Himalayan Research and Life in Nepal on Monday, 6th February 2017.

The talk will describe Joe’s research experiences from 2012-2016, while working as a Research Scientist based at ICIMOD in Kathmandu.This included high mountain hydrological and meteorological monitoring, the pioneering use of unmanned aerial vehicles for glacier change detection, glacier modelling studies, and a major earthquake.

The seminar will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday 6th February, in 144 Kirk Hall.

CH Seminar, Coldwater Lab., Friday 16th May at 3pm

The Centre for Hydrology’s Coldwater Lab. is hosting a seminar by Dr Jessica Lundquist (Mountain Hydrology Research Group, University of Washington), titled Effects of climate on forest-snow interactions.

The talk will summarize recent research on forest cover / snowpack interactions around the world, review advances in measuring interception of snow in forest canopies, and introduce a new research project on forest-climate effects on snowcover in the US Pacific Northwest.

It takes place in the Main Lecture Theatre at the BGS Institute, Barrier Lake Field Station, Kananaskis, Alberta on Friday May 16, 2014 from 3-4pm.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS – GEWEX Session on Hydrology of High-Elevation Areas

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS – Hydrology of High Elevation Areas Session at 7th International GEWEX Conference

Trending Now: Water
7th International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle
The Hague, The Netherlands, 14-17 July 2014

Abstract Deadline: 14 February 2014

The increasing demand for fresh water and the impacts of climate change on water availability and extreme events highlight why water is a current major global concern and is “Trending Now.” The Conference will celebrate 25 years of GEWEX research and set the stage for the next phase of research addressing the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenges on water resources, extremes, and climate sensitivity through observations and data sets, their analyses, process studies, model development and exploitation, applications, technology transfer to operational results, and research capacity development and training for the next generation of scientists.

The Conference will include lead speakers in plenary sessions to provide synthesis and perspective, and an extensive set of parallel sessions to support detailed development of specialist themes. Papers are welcome for all parallel sessions, to be given either as oral presentations or posters.

Abstracts are invited for all topics, including: (1) the climate system; (2) land; and (3) atmosphere. For topic details, see

Please consider submitting an abstract to the Hydrology of High Elevation Areas Session:
High mountains often receive relatively high precipitation volumes, which can quickly form runoff from rainfall, or are stored as snow and ice and form melt water when energy inputs are sufficient. This session will focus on advances in high mountain hydrology, including precipitation, process understanding, observational advances, model development and validation, applications, climate change impacts and projections of future snow and ice hydrology under a changing climate.
Conveners: John Pomeroy, Richard Essery, Ma Yaoming

Abstract Submission and Registration
The abstract deadline is 14 February 2014. Links to abstract submission and conference registration are available at: Abstracts will be used to select presentations for poster and oral sessions. Only one abstract may be submitted per registrant. An abstract should have a minimum of 300 words with a maximum of 1000. There is a non-refundable 40 Euro fee for submitting an abstract. Notification of acceptance to authors is mid-March 2014. If you have any problems submitting an abstract or have questions about the Conference, please contact Shannon Macken at

CUAHSI Cyber Seminars on Snow

CUAHSI – The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (Inc.) – is running a series of online seminars focused on snow.

Friday 7th Feb.: Dr Matthew Sturm – Arctic Snow
Friday 14th Feb.: Dr Jeff Dozier, Dr Anne Nolin – Mountain snow
Friday 21st Feb.: Dr Tim Link – Forest snow
Friday 7th Mar.: Dr David Robinson – Snow extent

The talks will be presented online on at 3:00 pm Eastern Time – all are welcome!
More details, including instructions on how to connect, are available at

Seminar – 20 March, 2:30pm

The Centre for Hydrology will host a seminar by Dr Kevin Devito, of the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences, entitled Generalizing groundwater-surface water interactions in riparian interfaces on heterogeneous landscapes – Canada’ s Boreal Plain, on Wednesday 20 March at 2:30pm in Room 144 Kirk Hall.

Hydrology Seminar – Wednesday December 19th, 12:00noon

Dr Jean-Emmanuel Sicart, Researcher at the IRD, University of Grenoble, will present a seminar on
The Analysis of seasonal variations in energy fluxes and meltwater discharge of a Tropical high-altitude Glacier
On Wednesday 19th December, 2012, at 12noon in Room 146 of Kirk Hall.
The seminar will present a study of the atmospheric forcing that controls seasonal variations in the mass balance and in meltwater discharge of the tropical glacier Zongo, Bolivia (16°S, 6000-4900 m asl. 2.4 km²). The full abstract is available here.
This is a ‘brown bag lunch’ event, so please feel free to bring your lunch, and to pass this information on to others who might be interested.

Hydrology Seminar – Wednesday October 3rd, 11:30am

Dr Keith Musselman, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Hydrology, will present a seminar entitled
Inter-annual snow accumulation and melt patterns in forested and alpine terrain;
a case study from the Sierra Nevada, California

On Wednesday October 3rd, 2012, at 11:30am, in AGRI 1E85
Results are presented from a study of snowpack dynamics in the southern Sierra Nevada, California. The study area covers 1800 km2 and a 3600 m elevation gradient. The accuracy of a distributed snow model is evaluated against a multi-scale suite of field measurements including a network of snow depth sensors, basin-scale manual surveys, and airborne LiDAR. In general, the model accurately simulated the seasonal maximum snow depth and SWE at lower and middle elevations. The model overestimated SWE at upper elevations where wind effects are pronounced and no precipitation measurements were available. The SWE errors were partially explained (R2 > 0.80, p<0.01) by the distance of the SWE measurement from the nearest precipitation gauge. The results suggest that precipitation uncertainty and wind redistribution are both critical limitations on snow model accuracy, particularly at upper elevations. Analyses of snowmelt patterns highlight distinct differences in melt dynamics at lower, middle, and upper elevations. Specifically, forested middle elevations experienced the most sustained snowmelt at relatively low seasonal average melt rates (~ 5 mm day-1). This unique melt timing and rate may be critical to the local forest ecosystem. Furthermore, the three years evaluated in this study indicate a marked sensitivity of this elevation range to seasonal meteorology, suggesting that it could be highly sensitive to future changes in climate.