Assimilation of ASCAT Radar Backscatter Coefficients over Southwestern France

Corchia, Timothée ; Bonan, Bertrand ; Rodríguez-Fernández, Nemesio ; Colas, Gabriel ; Calvet, Jean-Christophe

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<p align=justify>In this work, Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT) backscatter data are directly assimilated into the interactions between soil, biosphere, and atmosphere (ISBA) land surface model using Meteo-France's global Land Data Assimilation System (LDAS-Monde) tool in order to jointly analyse soil moisture and leaf area index (LAI). For the first time, observation operators based on neural networks (NNs) are trained with ISBA simulations and LAI observations from the PROBA-V satellite to predict the ASCAT backscatter signal. The trained NN-based observation operators are implemented in LDAS-Monde, which allows the sequential assimilation of backscatter observations. The impact of the assimilation is evaluated over southwestern France. The simulated and analysed backscatter signal, surface soil moisture, and LAI are evaluated using satellite observations from ASCAT and PROBA-V as well as in situ soil moisture observations. An overall improvement in the variables is observed when comparing the analysis with the open-loop simulation. The impact of the assimilation is greater over agricultural areas.</p>
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