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  1. We present a multi-sensor Bayesian passive microwave retrieval algorithm for flood inundation mapping at high spatial and temporal resolutions. The algorithm takes advantage of observations from multiple sensors in optical, short-infrared, and microwave bands, thereby allowing for detection and mapping of the sub-pixel fraction of inundated areas under almost all-sky conditions. The method relies on a nearest-neighbor search and a modern sparsity-promoting inversion method that make use of an a priori dataset in the form of two joint dictionaries. These dictionaries contain almost overlapping observations by the Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMIS) on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F17 satellite and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the Aqua and Terra satellites. Evaluation of the retrieval algorithm over the Mekong Delta shows that it is capable of capturing to a good degree the inundation diurnal variability due to localized convective precipitation. At longer timescales, the results demonstrate consistency with the ground-based water level observations, denoting that the method is properly capturing inundation seasonal patterns in response to regional monsoonal rain. The calculated Euclidean distance, rank-correlation, and also copula quantile analysis demonstrate a good agreement between the outputs of the algorithm and the observed watermore »levels at monthly and daily timescales. The current inundation products are at a resolution of 12.5 km and taken twice per day, but a higher resolution (order of 5 km and every 3 h) can be achieved using the same algorithm with the dictionary populated by the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) products.« less
  2. Complete transformations of land cover from prairie, wetlands, and hardwood forests to row crop agriculture and urban centers are thought to have caused profound changes in hydrology in the Upper Midwestern US since the 1800s. In this study, we investigate four large (23 000–69 000 km2) Midwest river basins that span climate and land use gradients to understand how climate and agricultural drainage have influenced basin hydrology over the last 79 years. We use daily, monthly, and annual flow metrics to document streamflow changes and discuss those changes in the context of precipitation and land use changes. Since 1935, flow, precipitation, artificial drainage extent, and corn and soybean acreage have increased across the region. In extensively drained basins, we observe 2 to 4 fold increases in low flows and 1.5 to 3 fold increases in high and extreme flows. Using a water budget, we determined that the storage term has decreased in intensively drained and cultivated basins by 30–200 % since 1975, but increased by roughly 30 % in the less agricultural basin. Storage has generally decreased during spring and summer months and increased during fall and winter months in all watersheds. Thus, the loss of storage and enhanced hydrologic connectivity and efficiency imparted by artificialmore »agricultural drainage appear to have amplified the streamflow response to precipitation increases in the Midwest. Future increases in precipitation are likely to further intensify drainage practices and increase streamflows. Increased streamflow has implications for flood risk, channel adjustment, and sediment and nutrient transport and presents unique challenges for agriculture and water resource management in the Midwest. Better documentation of existing and future drain tile and ditch installation is needed to further understand the role of climate versus drainage across multiple spatial and temporal scales.« less