Land Surface Processes
Through their regulation of water and energy transfer between the land and atmosphere, the dynamics of terrestrial water stores are an important boundary condition for the global water cycle at weather and climate timescales. The basis for a concerted integrated research effort is now provided by breakthroughs in techniques to observe: (1) global and regional precipitation, (2) surface soil-moisture, (3) snow, (4) surface soil freezing and thawing, (5) surface inundation, (6) river flow, and (7) total terrestrial water-storage changes, combined with better estimates of evaporation. As the primary input of water to the land surface, precipitation defines the terrestrial water cycle. The partitioning of this precipitation between infiltration (and subsequently evapotranspiration) and runoff is determined by surface physics, vegetation, snow and soil-moisture conditions, and soil-moisture dynamics.
KeywordsLand Surface Gravity Recovery andClimate Experiment Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Snow Water Equivalent Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
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