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The Effect of Soil Hydraulic Properties vs. Soil Texture in Land Surface Models

By E. E. Small and E. D. Gutmann


This study focuses on the effect of Soil Hydraulic Property (SHP) selection on modeled surface fluxes following a rain storm in a semi-arid environment. SHPs are often defined based on a Soil Texture Class (STC). To examine the effectiveness of this approach, the Noah land surface model was run with each of 1306 soils in a large SHP database. Within most STCs, the outputs have a range of 350 W/m2 for latent and sensible heat fluxes, and 8K for surface temperature. The average difference between STC median values is only 100 W/m2 for latent and sensible heat. It is concluded that STC explains 5-15% of the variance in model outputs and should not be used to determine SHPs

Topics: Geophysics
Year: 2005
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