Heat Balance and Soil Water Content for Bare Soil Surfaces in the Loess Plateau, China

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Spatial and temporal changes of heat and water balances are crucial for obtaining the greatest benefits from planting to combat desertification in the Loess Plateau of China. We used a three-layer soil model and routine meteorological data from 43 observatories to estimate the heat and water balances of the bare soil surface in this area. The results indicate that the annual mean of the sensible heat flux ranged from 13 Wm<sup>-2</sup> to 36 Wm<sup>-2</sup>, and the annual mean of the latent heat flux was from 14 Wm<sup>-2</sup> (179 mmy<sup>-1</sup>) to 40 Wm<sup>-2</sup> (521 mmy<sup>-1</sup>). Water retention and restriction of evaporation from the soil surface are affected by the yellow loessial soil, including medium loam, light loam, and sandy loam, but not heavy loam. We also compared the distribution of fractional extractable water and of the existing vegetation to reveal the potential vegetation distribution. Finally, we clarified the aridity distribution in the plateau.


  • Journal of Agricultural Meteorology

    Journal of Agricultural Meteorology 60(5), 1013-1016, 2005

    The Society of Agricultural Meteorology of Japan


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