Estimates of continental-scale soil wetness and comparison with the soil moisture data of Mintz and Serafini
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Soil wetness, in both its global distribution and the seasonal change, has been mainly estimated by the water balance approach using the bucket model which regards the soil wetness as soil moisture. The soil moisture data of Mintz and Serafini is one of the representatives examples, however, this method has problems since it does not incorporate the effects of flooding, snow accumulation on the ground, and so on. In this study, we use the Amazon and Volga river basin to carry out a case study to evaluate these problems. In the Amazon river basin, the annual range of the entire terrestrial water storage, about 400 mm, can be mainly explained by the rising and falling of the water level, and flooding around river channels, although soil moisture data of Mintz and Serafini is almost constant throughout the year. In the Volga river basin, snow accumulates on the ground producing 80 mm of water equivalent during winter, however the soil moisture data of Mintz and Serafini is almost saturated in winter.
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