LDAS-Monde Sequential Assimilation of Satellite Derived Observations Applied to the Contiguous US: An ERA-5 Driven Reanalysis of the Land Surface Variables

Albergel, Clement ; Munier, Simon ; Bocher, Aymeric ; Bonan, Bertrand ; Zheng, Yongjun ; Draper, Clara ; Leroux, Delphine ; Calvet, Jean-Christophe

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Land data assimilation system (LDAS)-Monde, an offline land data assimilation system with global capacity, is applied over the CONtiguous US (CONUS) domain to enhance monitoring accuracy for water and energy states and fluxes. LDAS-Monde ingests satellite-derived surface soil moisture (SSM) and leaf area index (LAI) estimates to constrain the interactions between soil, biosphere, and atmosphere (ISBA) land surface model (LSM) coupled with the CNRM (Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques) version of the total runoff integrating pathways (CTRIP) continental hydrological system (ISBA-CTRIP). LDAS-Monde is forced by the ERA-5 atmospheric reanalysis from the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) from 2010 to 2016 leading to a seven-year, quarter degree spatial resolution offline reanalysis of land surface variables (LSVs) over CONUS. The impact of assimilating LAI and SSM into LDAS-Monde is assessed over North America, by comparison to satellite-driven model estimates of land evapotranspiration from the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) project, and upscaled ground-based observations of gross primary productivity from the FLUXCOM project. Taking advantage of the relatively dense data networks over CONUS, we have also evaluated the impact of the assimilation against in situ measurements of soil moisture from the USCRN (US Climate Reference Network), together with river discharges from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC). Those data sets highlight the added value of assimilating satellite derived observations compared with an open-loop simulation (i.e., no assimilation). It is shown that LDAS-Monde has the ability not only to monitor land surface variables but also to forecast them, by providing improved initial conditions, which impacts persist through time. LDAS-Monde reanalysis also has the potential to be used to monitor extreme events like agricultural drought. Finally, limitations related to LDAS-Monde and current satellite-derived observations are exposed as well as several insights on how to use alternative datasets to analyze soil moisture and vegetation state.
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