Soil moisture is one of the Essential Climate Variables as defined by the Global Climate Observing System of the World Meteorological Organisation. Soil moisture influences agriculture, forestry, groundwater recharge, flood development, weather, climate, and greenhouse gases emission in the landscape. Several soil moisture observation systems exist on multiple scales, however, poorly harmonized due to the lack of interlinks. Thus, there is a need to establish the chain of traceability, the metrological assessment of uncertainties and the harmonisation of soil moisture measurements within the hydrological cycle, on multiple scales ranging from point-scale sensors to satellite remote sensing techniques. In addition, there is an urgent need for real-time, continuous, high-quality, high-resolution and metrologically traceable and harmonised data on soil moisture. Such data are needed to optimise water management strategies as adaptation measures as well as climate change monitoring, modelling and mitigation. To address these needs, the project "Soil Moisture Metrology" (SoMMet) has been set up in the framework of the European Partnership on Metrology of EURAMET. The project, addressing the objective "Metrology for multi-scale monitoring of soil moisture", and selected in the first 2021 Call "Metrology support for the Green Deal" of the Partnership, will start in October 2022. Its aim is to develop sound metrological tools and establish a metrological foundation for soil moisture measurement methods on multiple scales, ensuring the traceability and harmonisation. On the point scale (10^-1 m – 10^1 m), novel primary and secondary standards of humidity measurement will be developed specifically for soil samples, enabling reliable characterization of soil moisture sensors. On the intermediate range (10^2 m – 10^3 m), the metrological basis of the cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) method will be established, in laboratory and outdoor conditions. On the large scale (10^3 m – 10^4 m), satellite-based remote sensing techniques will be utilized to derive the soil moisture products. Based on dedicated comparison measurement campaigns, tools for cross-disciplinary harmonisation of the individual methods will be developed. Furthermore, soil moisture data fusion approaches will be researched, aiming at integrating the multi-scale soil moisture measurements to provide new schemes and recommendations to facilitate the generation of high-quality, temporally and spatially consistent soil moisture information useful for land surface sciences and applications. The project consortium consists of nine National and Designated Metrology Institutes and nine research institutions. It will liaise with other projects and networks currently dealing with soil moisture monitoring and open issues of missing soil moisture harmonisation.
Topic : Theme 1: Biosphere Monitoring.
Reference : T1-D5
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