Our People

Project Leader

About

Imtiaz Dharssi is a Land Surface Data Assimilation Scientist at Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, having previously worked for The Met Office in the UK for over 11 years. Hi reserach interests include:

  • Assimilation of satellite derived soil moisture
  • The Unified Model soil moisture nudging scheme
  • Parametrization of the soil physical properties
  • High-resolution soil texture maps for the Unified Model
More info:

Project leadership

This research has developed a prototype, high-resolution soil-moisture analysis system called JASMIN, which is a significant improvement in accuracy compared to currently used models. It is based on research that examines the use of land surface models, remotely sensed satellite measurements and data assimilation techniques to improve the monitoring and prediction of soil dryness. The new information will be calibrated for use within the existing fire prediction systems. This retains the accuracy, temporal and spatial resolution of the new product without changing the overall climatology of Forest Fire Danger Index and other calculations based on soil moisture.
Year Type Citation
2017 Report Kumar, V., Dharssi, I. & Holmes, A. Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through the improvements of land dryness measures and forecasts: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Journal Article Kumar, V. et al. Comparison of soil wetness from multiple models over Australia with observations. Water Resources Research 53, 633-646 (2017).
2017 Report Kumar, V. & Dharssi, I. Downscaling of soil dryness estimates: a short review. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Kumar, V. & Dharssi, I. Evaluation of daily soil moisture deficit used in Australian forest fire danger rating system. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Journal Article Holgate, C. M. et al. Comparison of remotely sensed and modelled soil moisture data sets across Australia. Remote Sensing of Environment 186, (2016).
2016 Report Dharssi, I. & Kumar, V. Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through the improvements of land dryness measures and forecasts: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Conference Paper Dharssi, I. & Kumar, V. A high-resolution land dryness analysis system for Australia. AFAC16 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Presentation Dharssi, I. & Kumar, V. Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through the improvements of land dryness measures and forecasts. (2015).
2015 Report Dharssi, I. & Kumar, V. Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through improvements to land dryness measures and forecasts: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Kumar, V. & Dharssi, I. Verification of soil moisture from land surface models and traditional soil dryness indices - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Dharssi, I., Kumar, V., Yeo, C., Bally, J. & Kepert, J. D. Mitigating the Effects of Severe Fires, Floods and Heatwaves Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Report Dharssi, I. Mitigating the Effects of Severe Fires, Floods and Heatwaves Annual Report 2014. (2015).

Posters credited

Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through the improvements of land dryness measures and forecasts


This project will improve Australia’s ability to manage extreme events by developing a state of the art, world’s best practice in soil moisture analysis.

Improving Fire Risk Estimation through Investigating Fire Intensity, Moisture and Temperature Anomalies


The accuracy of FDI's are largely dependent on their input variables and advancements in remote sensing are yet to be utilized to improve accuracy and scalability. This study aims to address this through the use of remotely sensed data of soil moisutre, fire radiative power, temperature and precipitation. In doing so, combining risk with likely fire intensity.

Key Topics:
Sources of Soil Dryness Measures and Forecasts


Emerging new approaches to evaluate landscape dryness through the use of satellite remote sensing data, land surface modelling and data assimilation techniques are available, measuring dryness more systematically than the empirical methods. Satellite measurements can be blended with land surface model simulations to provide more accurate, detailed and confident estimates and forecasts of land dryness.

Towards the Assimilation of AMSR2 Soil Moisture and Vegetation Data for Natural Hazard Monitoring and Prediction


This project aims to improve the estimation of landscape moisture through the assimilation of AMSR2 derived near surface soil moisture and vegetation moisture content. Prior to assimilation, the AMSR2 observations must be quality controlled and bias corrected. The first step of this project is validating the AMSR2 observations against  ground based measurements.

Alex Holmes Conference Poster 2016


Extreme temperature and deficits in soil moisture provide ample conditions for bushfires.

Key Topics:
Vinod Kumar Conference Poster 2016


Soil dryness is a key component in operational fire danger rating systems.

Key Topics:
Improved measures and forecasts of soil dryness


New approaches are available to calculate soil dryness more accurately through the use of satellite remote sensing measurements, land surface modelling and data analysis techniques.

Key Topics:

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 21 Mar 2014 Monitoring and prediction Save (7.35 MB) flood, modelling, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 08 Sep 2014 Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves Save (1.7 MB) fire, flood, forecasting
Presentation-Audio-Video 27 Oct 2014 Mitigating the effects of severe fires, floods and heatwaves fire, flood, forecasting
Presentation-Slideshow 05 Dec 2014 Mitigating the effects of severe hazards Save (1.99 MB) forecasting, modelling, soil moisture
Presentation-Slideshow 26 Jun 2015 Verification of Soil Moisture from Multiple Models for Bushfire Danger Rating Applications Save (4.32 MB) fire, flood, remote sensing
Presentation-Slideshow 11 Sep 2015 Verification of soil moisture from multiple sources for bushfire danger rating applications Save (3.33 MB) fire impacts, soil moisture
Presentation-Slideshow 30 Aug 2016 A high resolution land dryness analysis system for Australia - Imtiaz Dharssi Save (3.93 MB) fire weather, flood, severe weather
Presentation-Slideshow 24 Oct 2016 Mitigating the effects of sever fires, floods and heatwaves through improvement to land dryness measures and forecasts Save (3.12 MB) fire, flood, forecasting
HazardNoteEdition 28 Nov 2016 Monitoring and predicting natural hazards Save (853.18 KB) forecasting, modelling, severe weather
Presentation-Slideshow 18 May 2017 Towards an improved land dryness estimate for fire prediction Save (5.71 MB) fire, flood, remote sensing
HazardNoteEdition 14 Jun 2017 Soil moisture prototype improves forecasts Save (186.47 KB) forecasting, land management, soil moisture
Presentation-Slideshow 31 Oct 2017 Mitigating the effect of severe fires, floods and heatwaves through improvements to land dryness measures and forecasts Save (1.38 MB) forecasting, land management, mitigation

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook