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Soil Moisture Changes Throughout China's Karst Areas Mainly Affected by Precipitation

Apr 30, 2020

Chinese researchers have disclosed that precipitation was more important for soil moisture changes in the karst areas of China than temperature.

Soil moisture is a crucial factor in karst ecological restoration and construction. Researchers from the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences hoped to understand its spatiotemporal evolution characteristics in the country's karst areas.

Based on reanalysis and ground station data, they found that soil at different depths in the karst areas was experiencing a drying trend from 1982 to 2015, according to their recent research article published in the Journal of Hydrology.

The soil moisture in southern China’s karst areas was high but decreased in speed the fastest, while the soil moisture in the karst areas of northern China was low and declined quickly.

The changes of soil moisture in these areas were mainly affected by rainfall, or precipitation, said the article, followed by temperature.

Furthermore, the researchers found that the soil moisture in karst areas in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and southern China was overall higher than that in non-karst areas when under low vegetation levels of some climate zones.

The results demonstrated that the spatiotemporal distributions of soil moisture also differ within the karst areas because of factors like climate and vegetation.

The researchers suggested that the soil drying trend and climate changes should be fully evaluated during ecological restoration of karst areas. (Xinhua)

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Spatiotemporal dynamics of soil moisture in the karst areas of China based on reanalysis and observations data

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