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A Comparison of Land Surface Model Soil Hydraulic Properties Estimated by Inverse Modeling and Pedotransfer FunctionsSoil hydraulic properties (SHPs) regulate the movement of water in the soil. This in turn plays an important role in the water and energy cycles at the land surface. At present, SHPS are commonly defined by a simple pedotransfer function from soil texture class, but SHPs vary more within a texture class than between classes. To examine the impact of using soil texture class to predict SHPS, we run the Noah land surface model for a wide variety of measured SHPs. We find that across a range of vegetation cover (5 - 80% cover) and climates (250 - 900 mm mean annual precipitation), soil texture class only explains 5% of the variance expected from the real distribution of SHPs. We then show that modifying SHPs can drastically improve model performance. We compare two methods of estimating SHPs: (1) inverse method, and (2) soil texture class. Compared to texture class, inverse modeling reduces errors between measured and modeled latent heat flux from 88 to 28 w/m(exp 2). Additionally we find that with increasing vegetation cover the importance of SHPs decreases and that the van Genuchten m parameter becomes less important, while the saturated conductivity becomes more important.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Gutmann, Ethan D. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Small, Eric E. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
May 10, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Water Resources Research
Volume: 43
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits