How Critical Is the Assimilation Frequency of Water Content Measurements for Obtaining Soil Hydraulic Parameters with Data Assimilation?

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Title: How Critical Is the Assimilation Frequency of Water Content Measurements for Obtaining Soil Hydraulic Parameters with Data Assimilation?
Authors: Valdes-Abellan, Javier | Pachepsky, Yakov | Martinez, Gonzalo | Pla, Concepción
Research Group/s: Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental (IngHA) | Petrología Aplicada
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ingeniería Civil
Keywords: Assimilation frequency | Water content measurements | Soil hydraulic parameters | Data assimilation
Knowledge Area: Ingeniería Hidráulica
Issue Date: 11-Apr-2019
Publisher: Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies (ACSESS)
Citation: Vadose Zone Journal. 2019, 18: 180142. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.07.0142
Abstract: Data assimilation (DA) is a promising alternative to infer soil hydraulic parameters from soil water dynamics data. Frequency of measurements and updates are important controls of DA efficiency; however, no strict guidance exists on determining the optimal frequency. In this study, DA was performed with the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) with a state augmentation approach to update both model states and parameters. We analyzed updates every 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 14 d. Two soil types (sandy loam and loam) and four climates (hot semiarid [Bwh], cold semiarid [Bsk], humid continental [Dfa], and humid subtropical [Cfa]) were considered. Results demonstrate that DA with high update frequencies does not provide better results than results obtained when using low frequencies. For sandy loam soil, assimilation of data every seven or more days yields better results for whatever climate considered. For loam soil, the same is true after 9 mo of assimilation. The chosen performance metric may affect the results, but the general trend of better results with low assimilation frequencies does not change.
Sponsor: This study forms part of the projects GRE15-19 and GRE17-12 financed by the University of Alicante. A post-doctoral research fellowship (CAS 15/00244) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation was awarded to J. Valdes-Abellan for this project.
ISSN: 1539-1663 (Print) | 1539-1663 (Online)
DOI: 10.2136/vzj2018.07.0142
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - IngHA - Artículos de Revistas
INV - PETRA - Artículos de Revistas

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