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Evaluation of TRMM rainfall for soil moisture prediction in a subtropical climate

Gupta, Manika, Srivastava, Prashant K., Islam, Tanvir, Ishak, Asnor Muizan Bin
Environmental earth sciences 2014 v.71 no.10 pp. 4421-4431
mathematical models, prediction, rain, soil profiles, soil water, soil water content, subtropics
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a joint space mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall. In this study, the daily rainfall from TRMM has been utilized to simulate the soil moisture content up to 30 cm vertical soil profile of at an interval depth of 15 cm by using the HYDRUS 1D numerical model for the three plots. The simulated soil moisture content using ground-based rainfall and TRMM-derived rainfall measurements indicate an agreeable goodness of fit between the both. The Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency using ground-based and TRMM-derived rainfall was found in the range of 0.90–0.68 and 0.70–0.40, respectively. The input data sensitivity analysis of precipitation combined with different irrigation treatment indicates a high dependency of soil moisture content with rainfall input. The overall analysis reveals that TRMM rainfall is promising for soil moisture prediction in absence of ground-based measurements of soil moisture.