Spatio-temporal variability of soil moisture in the Canadian boreal forest and influence of the organic soil layer

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MacRae, Heather Catherine
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University of Guelph

The boreal forest is one of the world's largest biomes. It is undergoing rapid transformations due to anthropogenic modifications and climate change. Water availability is critically important for the prediction of wildfires and other climate-induced processes. Therefore, the monitoring of soil moisture (SM) within this region is of great importance. However, very few remote sensing validation studies have focused on this biome, including the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. The presence of a thick organic soil layer above the mineral layer is a soil characteristic distinctive to this biome. The sensitivity of SM within each of these soil layers to the SMAP SM product is of great interest. To investigate this uncertainty, a network of SM monitoring stations was installed within a SMAP pixel in the boreal forest region of central Saskatchewan, Canada. These results have importance for understanding the spatio-temporal variability of SM in the Canadian boreal forest.

soil moisture, boreal forest, SMAP, climate change, water availability, wildfire, forest fire, organic soil, soil organic carbon, soil organic matter, spatio-temporal variability, soil science