Inter-Annual Variability of Soil Moisture Stress Function in the Wheat Field

Monday, 15 December 2014
Venkata Radha Akuraju1, Dongryeol Ryu2, Biju George3, Youngryel Ryu4 and Kithsiri Bandara Dassanayake2, (1)University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia, (2)The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia, (3)Integrated Water and Land Management Program, ICARDA, Cairo, Egypt, (4)Seoul National University, Department of Landscape Architecture and Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul, South Korea
Root-zone soil moisture content is a key variable that controls the exchange of water and energy fluxes between land and atmosphere. In the soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT) schemes, the influence of root-zone soil moisture on evapotranspiration (ET) is parameterized by the soil moisture stress function (SSF). Dependence of actual ET: potential ET (fPET) or evaporative fraction to the root-zone soil moisture via SSF can also be used inversely to estimate root-zone soil moisture when fPET is estimated by remotely sensed land surface states.

In this work we present fPET versus available soil water (ASW) in the root zone observed in the experimental farm sites in Victoria, Australia in 2012-2013. In the wheat field site, fPET vs ASW exhibited distinct features for different soil depth, net radiation, and crop growth stages. Interestingly, SSF in the wheat field presented contrasting shapes for two cropping years of 2012 and 2013. We argue that different temporal patterns of rainfall (and resulting soil moisture) during the growing seasons in 2012 and 2013 are responsible for the distinctive SSFs. SSF of the wheat field was simulated by the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM). The APSIM was able to reproduce the observed fPET vs. ASW. We discuss implications of our findings for existing modeling and (inverse) remote sensing approaches relying on SSF and alternative growth-stage-dependent SSFs.