The Murrumbidgee Monitoring Network: Supporting CEOP, GEWEX and Hydrological Research in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Kevin Ellett, Andrew Western, Jeffrey Walker, Lionel Sirawardena, Rodger Young, Adam Smith, Alan Flint, and Greg Summerell

Power Point Presentation

In 2001 a network of 18 soil moisture monitoring sites were installed across the 80,000 square km Murrumbidgee River catchment in Australia with the aim of evaluating the land surface component of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's operational weather forecasting model. Since that time the Murrumbidgee Monitoring Network (MMN) has evolved to include 46 sites for continuous measurement of root-zone soil moisture, soil temperature and precipitation, as well as observations of deep soil moisture and ground water variability. Much of these data will soon be incorporated into the World Climate Research Programme's Coordinated Enhanced Observing Period (CEOP) database ( marking a substantial new contribution from the Australian continent. This paper provides an overview of the MMN and presents current results from applications in a number of regional-scale research projects including the Murray-Darling Basin GEWEX study and the National Airborne Field Experiment 2006 (NAFE'06) aimed at improving the retrieval of soil moisture and vegetation parameters from airborne and satellite platforms. The MMN also plays an integral role in the HYDROGRACE project with the objectives of (1) providing the first in-situ based validation of terrestrial water storage observations from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission and (2) improving regional-scale model simulations through data assimilation of GRACE observations. The MMN is part of the broader OzNet hydrological monitoring network throughout eastern Australia. Details on OzNet and the projects mentioned above are provided at