Soil Moisture in Kazakhstan: In Situ Probes and Satellite Data
By Alan Basist, Svetlana Dolgish, Azamat Kutuzov, and Neil Thomas
Soil moisture is a critical factor affecting the production of wheat across northern Kazakhstan. This production is an essential part of the region’s food security.
Variability in weather and the potential impact of climate on water and yields has prompted concern that the region is vulnerable to climate change. This study was aimed at determining whether two data sources could be used to accurately monitor soil moisture in northern Kazakhstan - and gauge how this affects yields.
The study pulled data from a network of probes that has been set up by the government in the northern part of the country. This was used to detect fluctuations. It aimed to see if there is a relationship between upper level soil moisture and surface wetness observed through a satellite.
It found that this combined data can determine at weekly intervals the soil moisture during the growing season for winter wheat.
The study’s findings from this study can be applied in order to monitor the distribution of upper level soil moisture across the northern oblasts - administrative divisions - of Kazakhstan, where wheat production is concentrated.
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