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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4587687, 14 pages
Research Article

Spatial and Temporal Soil Moisture Variations over China from Simulations and Observations

1College of Atmospheric Sciences, Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu, Sichuan 610225, China
2Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
3Chengdu Institute of Plateau Meteorology, China Meteorology Administration, Chengdu, Sichuan 610071, China
4Lijiang Airport Meteorological Station, Lijiang, Yunnan 674100, China
5Institute of Aeronautical Meteorology and Chemical Deference, Air Force Academy of Equipment, Beijing 100085, China

Received 16 November 2014; Revised 25 May 2015; Accepted 26 May 2015

Academic Editor: Eduardo García-Ortega

Copyright © 2016 Xin Lai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Community Land Model version 4.0 (CLM4.0) driven by the forcing data of Princeton University was used to simulate soil moisture (SM) from 1961 to 2010 over China. The simulated SM was compared to the in situ SM measurements from International Soil Moisture Network over China, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis data, a new microwave based multiple-satellite surface SM dataset (SM-MW), and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Interim Reanalysis (ERA Interim/Land) SM data. The results showed that CLM4.0 simulation is capable of capturing characteristics of the spatial and temporal variations of SM. The simulated, NCEP, SM-MW, and ERA Interim/Land SM products are reasonably consistent with each other; based on the simulated SM of summer, it can be concluded that the spatial distribution in every layer was characterized by a gradually increasing pattern from the northwest to southeast. The SM increased from surface layer to deeper layer in general. The variation trends basically showed consistencies at all depths. The simulated SM of summer demonstrated different responses to the precipitation variation. The variation distribution of SM and measured precipitation had consistencies. The humid region significantly responded to precipitation, while the semiarid and arid regions were ranked second.