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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-282
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-282
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Land Surface Model Representation of the Mutual Information Context between Multi-Layer Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration

Jianxiu Qiu1,2, Wade T. Crow3, Jianzhi Dong3, and Grey S. Nearing4 Jianxiu Qiu et al.
  • 1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
  • 2Southern Laboratory of Ocean Science and Engineering (Guangdong, Zhuhai), Zhuhai, 519000, China
  • 3USDA ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
  • 4Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, AL 35487, USA

Abstract. Soil moisture (θ) impacts the climate system by regulating incoming energy into outgoing evapotranspiration (ET) and sensible heat flux components. Therefore, investigating the coupling strength between θ and ET is important for the study of land surface/atmosphere interactions. Here, we use in-situ AmeriFlux observations to evaluate θ/ET coupling strength estimates acquired from multiple land surface models (LSMs). For maximum robustness, coupling strength is represented using the sampled normalized mutual information (NMI) between θ estimates acquired at various vertical depths and surface flux represented by fraction of potential evapotranspiration (fPET, the ratio of ET to potential ET). Results indicate that LSMs are generally in agreement with AmeriFlux measurements in that surface soil moisture (θS) contains slightly more NMI with fPET than vertically integrated soil moisture (θV). Overall, LSMs adequately capture variations in NMI between fPET and θ estimates acquired at various vertical depths. However, one model – the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) – significantly overestimates the NMI between θ and ET and the relative contribution of θS to total ET. This bias appears attributable to differences in GLEAM's ET estimation scheme relative to the other two LSMs considered here (i.e., the Noah with Multi–parameterization option and the Catchment Land Surface Model). These results provide insight into improved LSM model structure and parameter optimization for land surface-atmosphere coupling analyses.

Jianxiu Qiu et al.
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Short summary
Accurately describe how the constraint of soil moisture (θ) on evapotranspiration (ET) varies as θ is integrated over deeper depth is key to understand how θ regulates land-atmosphere interaction. Using AmeriFlux observations as benchmark, we examine whether entropy-based estimates of LSM surface θ versus ET and vertically integrated θ versus ET coupling accurately reflect observations acquired at ground sites. The work provides insight into land-atmosphere coupling analysis and LSM development.
Accurately describe how the constraint of soil moisture (θ) on evapotranspiration (ET) varies...
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