Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    A multi-model approach to assessing the impacts of catchment characteristics on spatial water quality in the Great Barrier Reef catchments
    Liu, S ; Ryu, D ; Webb, JA ; Lintern, A ; Guo, D ; Waters, D ; Western, AW (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2021-05-14)
    Water quality monitoring programs often collect large amounts of data with limited attention given to the assessment of the dominant drivers of spatial and temporal water quality variations at the catchment scale. This study uses a multi-model approach: a) to identify the influential catchment characteristics affecting spatial variability in water quality; and b) to predict spatial variability in water quality more reliably and robustly. Tropical catchments in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) area, Australia, were used as a case study. We developed statistical models using 58 catchment characteristics to predict the spatial variability in water quality in 32 GBR catchments. An exhaustive search method coupled with multi-model inference approaches were used to identify important catchment characteristics and predict the spatial variation in water quality across catchments. Bootstrapping and cross-validation approaches were used to assess the uncertainty in identified important factors and robustness of multi-model structure, respectively. The results indicate that water quality variables were generally most influenced by the natural characteristics of catchments (e.g., soil type and annual rainfall), while anthropogenic characteristics (i.e., land use) also showed significant influence on dissolved nutrient species (e.g., NOX, NH4 and FRP). The multi-model structures developed in this work were able to predict average event-mean concentration well, with Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient ranging from 0.68 to 0.96. This work provides data-driven evidence for catchment managers, which can help them develop effective water quality management strategies.
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    Enhancing the Accuracy and Temporal Transferability of Irrigated Cropping Field Classification Using Optical Remote Sensing Imagery
    Gao, Z ; Guo, D ; Ryu, D ; Western, AW (MDPI, 2022-02-01)
    Mapping irrigated areas using remotely sensed imagery has been widely applied to support agricultural water management; however, accuracy is often compromised by the in-field heterogeneity of and interannual variability in crop conditions. This paper addresses these key issues. Two classification methods were employed to map irrigated fields using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values derived from Landsat 7 and Landsat 8: a dynamic thresholding method (method one) and a random forest method (method two). To improve the representativeness of field-level NDVI aggregates, which are the key inputs in our methods, a Gaussian mixture model (GMM)-based filtering approach was adopted to remove noncrop pixels (e.g., trees and bare soils) and mixed pixels along the field boundary. To improve the temporal transferability of method one we dynamically determined the threshold value to account for the impact of interannual weather variability based on the dynamic range of NDVI values. In method two an innovative training sample pool was designed for the random forest modeling to enable automatic calibration for each season, which contributes to consistent performance across years. The irrigated field mapping was applied to a major irrigation district in Australia from 2011 to 2018, for summer and winter cropping seasons separately. The results showed that using GMM-based filtering can markedly improve field-level data quality and avoid up to 1/3 of omission errors for irrigated fields. Method two showed superior performance, exhibiting consistent and good accuracy (kappa > 0.9) for both seasons. The classified maps in wet winter seasons should be used with caution, because rainfall alone can largely meet plant water requirements, leaving the contribution of irrigation to the surface spectral signature weak. The approaches introduced are transferable to other areas, can support multiyear irrigated area mapping with high accuracy, and significantly reduced model development effort.
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    Parsimonious Gap-Filling Models for Sub-Daily Actual Evapotranspiration Observations from Eddy-Covariance Systems
    Guo, D ; Parehkar, A ; Ryu, D ; Wang, QJ ; Western, AW (MDPI, 2022-03-01)
    Missing data and low data quality are common issues in field observations of actual evapotranspiration (ETa) from eddy-covariance systems, which necessitates the need for gap-filling techniques to improve data quality and utility for further analyses. A number of models have been proposed to fill temporal gaps in ETa or latent heat flux observations. However, existing gap-filling approaches often use multi-variate models that rely on relationships between ETa and other meteorological and flux variables, highlighting a critical lack of parsimonious gap-filling models. This study aims to develop and evaluate parsimonious approaches to fill gaps in ETa observations. We adapted three gap-filling models previously used for other meteorological variables but never applied to infill sub-daily ETa or flux observations from eddy-covariance systems before. All three models are solely based on the observed diurnal patterns in the ETa data, which infill gaps in sub-daily data with sinusoidal functions (Sinusoidal), smoothing functions (Smoothing) and pattern matching (MaxCor) approaches, respectively. We presented a systematic approach for model evaluation, considering multiple patterns of data gaps during different times of the day. The three gap-filling models were evaluated together with another benchmarking gap-filling model, mean diurnal variation (MDV) that has been commonly used and has similar data requirement. We used a case study with field measurements from an EC system over summer 2020–2021, at a maize field in southeastern Australia. We identified the MaxCor model as the best gap-filling model, which informs the diurnal pattern of the day to infill by using another day with similar temporal patterns and complete data. Following the MaxCor model, the MDV and the Sinusoidal models show comparable performances. We further discussed the infilling models in terms of their dependence on data availability and their suitability for different practical situations. The MaxCor model relies on high data availability for both days with complete data and the available records within each day to infill. The Sinusoidal model does not rely on any day with complete data, which makes it the ideal choice in situations where days with complete records are limited.
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    Assimilation of stream discharge for flood forecasting: The benefits of accounting for routing time lags
    Li, Y ; Ryu, D ; Western, AW ; Wang, QJ (AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2013-04-01)
    General filtering approaches in hydrologic data assimilation, such as the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF), are based on the assumption that uncertainty of the current background prediction can be reduced by correcting errors in the state variables at the same time step. However, this assumption may not be valid when assimilating stream discharge into hydrological models to correct soil moisture storage due to the time lag between the soil moisture and the discharge. In this paper, we explore the utility of an ensemble Kalman smoother (EnKS) for addressing this time-lag issue. The EnKF and the EnKS are compared for two different updating schemes with the probability distributed model (PDM) via synthetic experiments: (i) updating soil moisture only and (ii) updating soil moisture and routing states simultaneously. The results show that the EnKS is superior to the EnKF when only soil moisture is updated, while the EnKS and the EnKF exhibit similar results when both soil moisture and routing storages are updated. This suggests that the EnKS can better improve the stream flow forecasting for models that do not adopt storage-based routing schemes (e.g., unit-hydrograph-based routing). For models with dynamic routing stores, errors in soil moisture are transferred to the routing stores, which can be corrected effectively by real-time filters. The EnKS-based soil moisture updating scheme is also tested with the GR4H model, for which unit-hydrograph-based routing is used. The result confirms that the EnKS is superior to the EnKF in improving both soil moisture and stream flow forecasting.
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    De-noising of passive and active microwave satellite soil moisture time series
    Su, C-H ; Ryu, D ; Western, AW ; Wagner, W (AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2013-07-28)
    Satellite microwave retrievals and in situ measurements of surface soil moisture are usually compared in the time domain. This paper examines their differences in the conjugate frequency domain to develop a spectral description of the satellite data, suggesting the presence of stochastic random and systematic periodic errors. Based on a semiempirical model of the observed power spectral density, we describe systematic designs of causal and noncausal filters to remove these erroneous signals. The filters are applied to the retrievals from active and passive satellite sensors and evaluated against field data from the Murrumbidgee Basin, southeast Australia, to show substantive increase in linear correlations.
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    Beyond triple collocation: Applications to soil moisture monitoring
    Su, C-H ; Ryu, D ; Crow, WT ; Western, AW (AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2014-06-16)
    Triple collocation (TC) is routinely used to resolve approximated linear relationships between different measurements (or representations) of a geophysical variable that are subject to errors. It has been utilized in the context of calibration, validation, bias correction, and error characterization to allow comparisons of diverse data records from various direct and indirect measurement techniques including in situ remote sensing and model-based approaches. However, successful applications of TC require sufficiently large numbers of coincident data points from three independent time series and, within the analysis period, homogeneity of their linear relationships and error structures. These conditions are difficult to realize in practice due to infrequent spatiotemporal sampling of satellite and ground-based sensors. TC can, however, be generalized within the framework of instrumental variable (IV) regression theory to address some of the conceptual constraints of TC. We review the theoretics of IV and consider one possible strategy to circumvent the three-data constraint by use of lagged variables (LV) as instruments. This particular implementation of IV is suitable for circumstances where multiple data records are limited and the geophysical variable of interest is sampled at time intervals shorter than its temporal correlation length. As a demonstration of utility, the LV method is applied to microwave satellite soil moisture data sets to recover their errors over Australia and to estimate temporal properties of their relationships with in situ and model data. These results are compared against standard two-data linear estimators and the TC estimator as benchmark.
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    Assimilation of stream discharge for flood forecasting: Updating a semidistributed model with an integrated data assimilation scheme
    Li, Y ; Ryu, D ; Western, AW ; Wang, QJ (AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2015-05-01)
    Real-time discharge observations can be assimilated into flood models to improve forecast accuracy; however, the presence of time lags in the routing process and a lack of methods to quantitatively represent different sources of uncertainties challenge the implementation of data assimilation techniques for operational flood forecasting. To address these issues, an integrated error parameter estimation and lag-aware data assimilation (IEELA) scheme was recently developed for a lumped model. The scheme combines an ensemble-based maximum a posteriori (MAP) error estimation approach with a lag-aware ensemble Kalman smoother (EnKS). In this study, the IEELA scheme is extended to a semidistributed model to provide for more general application in flood forecasting by including spatial and temporal correlations in model uncertainties between subcatchments. The result reveals that using a semidistributed model leads to more accurate forecasts than a lumped model in an open-loop scenario. The IEELA scheme improves the forecast accuracy significantly in both lumped and semidistributed models, and the superiority of the semidistributed model remains in the data assimilation scenario. However, the improvements resulting from IEELA are confined to the outlet of the catchment where the discharge observations are assimilated. Forecasts at "ungauged" internal locations are not improved, and in some instances, even become less accurate.
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    Key factors influencing differences in stream water quality across space
    Lintern, A ; Webb, JA ; Ryu, D ; Liu, S ; Bende-Michl, U ; Waters, D ; Leahy, P ; Wilson, P ; Western, AW (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
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    An evaluation of a methodology for seasonal soil water forecasting for Australian dry land cropping systems
    Western, AW ; Dassanayake, KB ; Perera, KC ; Argent, RM ; Alves, O ; Young, G ; Ryu, D (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2018-05-01)
    Soil water is a critical resource in many rain-fed agricultural systems. Climate variability represents a significant risk in these systems, which has been addressed in the past through seasonal weather outlooks. This study undertakes a pilot assessment of the potential to extend seasonal weather outlooks to plant available soil water (PASW). We analyse 20 sites in the southeast Australian wheat belt using seasonal weather outlooks from the Predictive Ocean-Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA; (the operational seasonal model of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology), which were downscaled and used in conjunction with the Agricultural Production Simulator (APSIM). Hindcast rainfall, potential evapotranspiration (PET) and PASW outlooks were produced on a monthly basis for 33 years at a point scale. The outlooks were assessed using a range of ensemble verification tools. The results showed hit rates that outperformed climatology for rainfall and PET in the short-term (0–2 months), and for PASW with longer lead times (2–5 months). Continuous rank probability skill scores (CRPSS) were generally statistically worse than climatology for rainfall and PET and statistically better than climatology for PASW over 1–3 months. The influence of initial soil water is seasonally dependent, with longer dependence in low evapotranspiration periods. Improved weather model downscaling approaches would transition to climatology and could improve both weather and PASW outlooks. PASW outlooks were strongly reliant on initial conditions, indicating the importance of understanding current soil water status, which needs to be interpreted in a seasonal context as its influence varies over the year. Expanded operational soil water monitoring would be important if PASW outlooks are to become routine.
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    Dual assimilation of satellite soil moisture to improve streamflow prediction in data-scarce catchments
    Alvarez-Garreton, C ; Ryu, D ; Western, AW ; Crow, WT ; Su, C-H ; Robertson, DR (AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2016-07-01)