Land-atmosphere interaction patterns in southeastern South America using satellite products and climate models

Published in International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, v.64:96-103

Spennemann, P.C, Salvia, Ruscica, M, R.C, Sörensson, A.A, Grings, Karszenbaum F. H.

Publication year 2017

Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera (CONICET/UBA), UMI-IFAECI (CONICET/CNRS/UBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina

IAI Program


IAI Project CRN3035


  • SESA is a strong L-A interaction hotspot, as shown both by satellite products and climate models.
  • L-A interaction is more intense and extended for dry summers than for wet summers.
  • C and X band SM show the same L-A hotspot location, but differences in intensity.
  • This differences are related to eco-region characteristics present in this area.


In regions of strong Land-Atmosphere (L-A) interaction, soil moisture (SM) conditions can impact the atmosphere through modulating the land surface fluxes. The importance of the identification of L-A interaction regions lies in the potential improvement of the weather/seasonal forecast and the better understanding of the physical mechanisms involved. This study aims to compare the terrestrial segment of the L-A interaction from satellite products and climate models, motivated by previous modeling studies pointing out southeastern South America (SESA) as a L-A hotspot during austral summer. In addition, the L-A interaction under dry or wet anomalous conditions over SESA is analyzed. To identify L-A hotspots the AMSRE-LPRM SM and MODIS land surface temperature products coupled climate models and uncoupled land surface models were used. SESA highlights as a strong L-A interaction hotspot when employing different metrics, temporal scales and independent datasets, showing consistency between models and satellite estimations. Both AMSRE-LPRM bands (X and C) are consistent showing a strong L-A interaction hotspot over the Pampas ecoregion. Intensification and a larger spatial extent of the L-A interaction for dry summers was observed in both satellite products and models compared to wet summers. These results, which were derived from measured physical variables, are encouraging and promising for future studies analyzing L-A interactions.