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Distribution Characteristics of Soil Moisture in the Three Rivers Headwaters Region, China

R. Cao1, and X. M. Jin2 *

  1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.
  2. School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +8613693096590; Fax: +86-10-82321081. E-mail address: (X. M. Jin).


The change of soil moisture has significant influence on the surface energy distribution and evapotranspiration process and causes the climatic environment changes. It is thus urgent to detect soil moisture facing climate change problems. Based on apparent thermal inertia method, the GLDAS soil moisture of the layer in 0 ~ 10 cm, 10 ~ 40 cm, 40 ~ 100 cm, 100 ~ 200 cm under the ground surface are proceeded for downscaling and the monthly soil moisture are obtained by combination of MODIS data. Statistics of precipitation and temperature of 13 meteorological stations in the Three River Headwater Region (TRHR) are collected to analyze the correlation between soil moisture change and temperature and precipitation. The correlation between soil moisture and evapotranspiration (ET) are analyzed by using the surface energy balance system model to calculate the average evapotranspiration in the study area. The result indicated that (1) Apparent thermal inertia (ATI) is positively correlated with soil depths in the four layers below the surface and has the best correlation with 0 ~ 10 cm soil moisture. Soil moisture increases with soil depth. Soil moisture is lowest under 0 ~ 10 cm depth while highest under 10 ~ 40 cm on average. (2) In terms of spatial distribution of TRHR, soil moisture is higher in the northwest and southeast, but lower in the southwest and northeast than average. The temporal variation of the soil moisture in one year was high in summer and low in winter, and the average annual soil moisture increased with time. (3) Soil moisture is negatively correlated with temperature and positively corre-lated with precipitation. There is a positive correlation between soil moisture and evapotranspiration. The linear regression coefficient of determination R2 is 0.8489.

Keywords: soil moisture, apparent thermal inertia (ATI), climatic factor, evapotranspiration (ET), Three River Headwaters Region (TRHR)

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