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A preliminary synthesis of major scientific results during the SALSA program

  • Author(s): Chehbouni, A
  • Goodrich, DC
  • Moran, MS
  • Watts, CJ
  • Kerr, YH
  • Dedieu, G
  • Kepner, WG
  • Shuttleworth, WJ
  • Sorooshian, S
  • et al.

The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the primary results of the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program in the context of improvements to our overall understanding of hydrologic, ecologic, and atmospheric processes and their interactions in a semi-arid basin. The major findings and future research needs associated with the different core components of the program are emphasized. First, remote-sensing investigations are discussed, especially those directed toward taking full advantage of the capabilities of the new generation of satellites (ERS2/ATSR2, VEGETATION, LANDSAT7, NASA-EOS). Second, we discuss parameterization of the water and energy fluxes in arid and semi-arid regions, with special emphasis on methods to aggregate these fluxes from patch scale to grid scale. Third, we address the issues related to grassland ecology and competition for water between native grass and invasive mesquite species. Fourth, findings related to the interactions between surface water, ground water, and vegetation in a semi-arid riparian system are discussed. Next, an assessment of land use and land cover change over the entire basin over a quarter century is reviewed. Finally, unsolved issues and the needs for further research are outlined.

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