Status of the Tibetan Plateau observatory (Tibet-Obs) and a 10-year (2009-2019) surface soil moisture dataset

Pei Zhang, Donghai Zheng*, R. van der Velde, Jun Wen, Yijian Zeng, Xin Wang, Zuoliang Wang, Jiali Chen, Zhongbo Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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The Tibetan Plateau observatory (Tibet-Obs) of plateau scale soil moisture and soil temperature was established 10 years ago and has been widely used to calibrate/validate satellite- and model-based soil moisture (SM) products for their applications to the Tibetan Plateau (TP). This paper reports on the status of the Tibet-Obs and presents a 10-year (2009-2019) surface SM dataset produced based on in situ measurements taken at a depth of 5cm collected from the Tibet-Obs that consists of three regional-scale SM monitoring networks, i.e. the Maqu, Naqu, and Ngari (including Ali and Shiquanhe) networks. This surface SM dataset includes the original 15min in situ measurements collected by multiple SM monitoring sites of the three networks and the spatially upscaled SM records produced for the Maqu and Shiquanhe networks. Comparisons between four spatial upscaling methods - i.e. arithmetic averaging, Voronoi diagrams, time stability, and apparent thermal inertia - show that the arithmetic average of the monitoring sites with long-term (i.e. ≥ 6-year) continuous measurements is found to be most suitable to produce the upscaled SM records. Trend analysis of the 10-year upscaled SM records indicates that the Shiquanhe network in the western part of the TP is getting wet, while there is no significant trend found for the Maqu network in the east. To further demonstrate the uniqueness of the upscaled SM records in validating existing SM products for a long-term period (1/410 years), the reliability of three reanalysis datasets is evaluated for the Maqu and Shiquanhe networks. It is found that current model-based SM products still show deficiencies in representing the measured SM dynamics in the Tibetan grassland (i.e. Maqu) and desert ecosystems (i.e. Shiquanhe). The dataset would also be valuable for calibrating/validating long-term satellite-based SM products, evaluation of SM upscaling methods, development of data fusion methods, and quantifying the coupling of SM and precipitation at a 10-year scale. The dataset is available in the 4TU.ResearchData repository at 10.4121/12763700.v7 (Zhang et al., 2020).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3075-3102
Number of pages28
JournalEarth system science data
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021




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