Advances in Earth Science ›› 2008, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (9): 897-914. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2008.09.0897

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Simultaneous Remote Sensing and Ground-based Experiment in the Heihe River Basin: Scientific Objectives and Experiment Design

Li Xin 1,Ma Mingguo 1,Wang Jian 1,Liu Qiang 2,Che Tao 1,Hu Zeyong 1,Xiao Qing 2,Liu Qinhuo 2,Su Peixi 1,Chu Rongzhong 1,Jin Rui 1,Wang Weizhen 1,Ran Youhua 1   

  1. 1.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2.Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2008-08-10 Revised:2008-08-21 Online:2008-09-10 Published:2008-09-10

Li Xin,Ma Mingguo1,Wang Jian,Liu Qiang,Che Tao,Hu Zeyong,Xiao Qing,Liu Qinhuo. Simultaneous Remote Sensing and Ground-based Experiment in the Heihe River Basin: Scientific Objectives and Experiment Design[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2008, 23(9): 897-914.

    This paper introduces the background, scientific questions, objectives, experiment design and configuration of a simultaneous airborne, satellite-borne and ground-based remote sensing experiment taking place in the Heihe River Basin, northwest China. The overall objective is to improve the observability, understanding, and predictability of hydrological and related ecological processes on catchment scale, to accumulate a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and multi-scale dataset for the development of watershed science and to promote the applicability of quantitative remote sensing in watershed science studies. The catchment scale water cycle and related ecological processes are observed by airborne remote sensing, satellite remote sensing, ground-based radar, network of hydrometeorological stations and flux towers, and ecological monitoring equipment in typical landscapes of a inland river basin, which varies from the alpine glacier-snow-permafrost zone, forest-steppe zone in high mountain area to the desert-oasis zone in middle reaches. Based on the observations, and particularly by using high-resolution airborne remote sensing to bridge the gap between satellite remote sensing and ground measurements, many models and algorithms for retrieving and estimating hydrological and ecological variables will be validated and potentially improved. Additionally, the development of scaling methods is put in high priority. The project is composed of three experiments,i.e., cold region hydrology experiment, forest hydrology experiment and arid region hydrology experiment as well as an integrated study—development of an experiment information system and a catchment scale land data assimilation system to merge multi-source and multi-scale remote sensing data into land model. Five types of data are defined to be observed, including hydrological-ecological variables, atmospheric forcing variables, vegetation parameters, soil parameters and aerodynamic parameters.
    Up to now, a very dense ground observation network has been established, which consists of automatic meteorological stations, flux towers, hydrological stations, rain gauges, rainfall radar, ground-based remote sensing instruments, other instruments and numerous experiment sites to collect ground data. Five types of the airborne remote sensor including microwave radiometer, lidar, hyperspectral imager, thermal imager and CCD camera are used to obtain plentiful airborne remote sensing data. Satellite remote sensing data covering the visible/near-infrared, thermal infrared, active and passive microwave bands are acquired.

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