2015 Volume 9 Issue 1 Pages 14-19
Recent advances in remote-sensing technology have enabled estimation of surface solar radiation, which is an important input for land surface models (LSMs). This study investigates the impacts of satellite-derived solar radiation on an LSM by performing sensitivity experiments with and without a satellite-derived solar radiation product known as “EXAM”. Using the LSM “SiBUC-SIMRIW”, land surface analyses over Japan at a 1-km resolution were performed, comparable to observations from flux towers. We demonstrate that using the EXAM solar radiation improves not only the net solar radiation analyses, but also the analyses of net long-wave radiation, sensible heat flux, and latent heat flux at four ground observation sites. This suggests that using the satellite-derived EXAM solar radiation improves the three main budgets, i.e., radiation, heat and water budgets, of the land surface simulation. The findings demonstrate consistent improvements, therefore, SiBUC-SIMRIW-based land surface analyses can be expected to be improved using EXAM. The sensitivity experiments over Japan demonstrate that the change in solar radiation inputs largely affects the simulated sensible and latent heat fluxes. A relatively large change in surface runoff is evident in heavy snowfall regions in winter, which could be caused by a change in the snow melting period.