Reforming Triple Collocation: Beyond Three Estimates and Separation of Structural/Non-structural Errors

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:45 PM
Wang Zhan1, Colby K Fisher1, Ming Pan1, Wade T Crow2 and Eric F Wood1, (1)Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States, (2)Hydrol and Remote Sensing Lab, Beltsville, MD, United States
This study extends the popular triple collocation method for error assessment from three source estimates to an arbitrary number of source estimates, i.e., to solve the multiple collocation problem. The error assessment problem is solved through Pythagorean constraints in Hilbert space, which is slightly different from the original inner product solution but easier to extend to multiple collocation cases. The Pythagorean solution is fully equivalent to the original inner product solution for the triple collocation case. The multiple collocation turns out to be an over-constrained problem and a least squared solution is presented. As the most critical assumption of uncorrelated errors will almost for sure fail in multiple collocation problems, we propose to divide the source estimates into structural categories and treat the structural and non-structural errors separately. Such error separation allows the source estimates to have their structural errors fully correlated within the same structural category, which is much more realistic than the original assumption. A new error assessment procedure is developed which performs the collocation twice, each for one type of errors, and then sums up the two types of errors. The new procedure is also fully backward compatible with the original triple collocation. Error assessment experiments are carried out for surface soil moisture data from multiple remote sensing models, land surface models, and in situ measurements.