Geophysical Research Letters

Climate variability effects on spatial soil moisture dynamics

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Abstract

[1] We investigate the role of interannual climate variability on spatial soil moisture variability dynamics for a field site in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Observations were made during 3 years under intermediate (1999), wet (2000), and extremely dry conditions (2003). Soil moisture variability dynamics are simulated with a comprehensive model for the period 1989–2003. The results show that climate variability induces non-uniqueness and two distinct hysteresis modes in the yearly relation between the spatial mean soil moisture and its variability. We demonstrate that the direction of hysteresis is related to a yearly climate index that does not require soil moisture observations.

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