Automation of SimSphere Land Surface Model Use as a Standalone Application and Integration with EO Data for Deriving Key Land Surface Parameters

George Petropoulos, Ioannis Konstas, Toby N. Carlson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)


Use of simulation process models has played a key role in extending our
abilities to study Earth system processes and enhancing our
understanding on how different components of it interplay. Use of such
models combined with Earth Observation (EO) data provides a promising
direction towards deriving accurately spatiotemporal estimates of key
parameters characterising land surface interactions, by combining the
horizontal coverage and spectral resolution of remote sensing data with
the vertical coverage and fine temporal continuity of those models.
SimSphere is such a software toolkit written in Java for simulating the
interactions of soil, vegetation and atmosphere layers of the Earth's
land surface. Its use is at present continually expanding worldwide both
as an educational and as a research tool for scientific investigations.
It is being used either as a stand-alone application or synergistically
with EO data. Herein we present recent advancements introduced to
SimSphere in different aspects of the model aiming to make its use more
robust when used both as a standalone application and synergistically
with EO data. We have extensively tested and updated the model code, as
well as enhanced it with new functionalities. These included for example
taking into account the thermal inertia variation in soil moisture,
simulating additional parameters characterising land surface
interactions, automating the model use when integrating it with EO data
via the "triangle" method and developing batch processing operations.
Use of these recently introduced to the model functionalities are
illustrated herein using a variety of examples. Our work is significant
to the users' community of the model and very timely, given the
potential use of SimSphere in an EO-based method being under development
for deriving operationally regional estimates of energy fluxes and soil
moisture from EO data provided by non-commercial vendors. KEYWORDS:
land surface interactions, land surface process model, SimSphere,
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeophysical Research Abstracts
PublisherCopernicus Publications
ISBN (Electronic)1607-7962
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEuropean Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 07 Apr 201312 Apr 2013


ConferenceEuropean Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013
Abbreviated titleEGU 2013
Period07 Apr 201312 Apr 2013
Internet address


  • land surface interactions
  • land surface process model
  • SimSphere
  • triangle


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