Dry-end surface soil moisture variability during NAFE'06



[1] Characterization of the space-time variability of soil moisture is important for land surface and climate studies. Here we develop an analytical model to investigate how, at the dry-end of the soil moisture range, the main characteristics of the soil moisture field (spatial mean and variability, steady state distribution) depend on the intermittent character of low intensity rain storms. Our model is in good agreement with data from the recent National Airborne Field Experiment (NAFE'06) held in the semiarid Australian Murrumbidgee catchment. We find a positive linear relationship between mean soil moisture and its associated variability, and a strong dependency of the temporal soil moisture distribution to the amount and structure of precipitation.