Evaluating soil moisture simulations from a national-scale gridded hydrological model over Great Britain

Lane, Rosanna ORCID:; Bell, Vicky ORCID:; Chapman, Rhian ORCID:; Kay, Alison ORCID: 2024 Evaluating soil moisture simulations from a national-scale gridded hydrological model over Great Britain. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 52, 101735. 18, pp.

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•Study Region: The study covers sites across Great Britain. •Study Focus: Soil moisture information is important for a range of applications including flood and drought monitoring, seasonal hydrological forecasting, and agricultural management. However, spatially distributed soil moisture estimates for sub-surface soils are scarce despite their importance. The Grid-to-Grid hydrological model (G2G) was primarily developed to simulate river flows at a national scale, but can also output simulated depth-integrated soil moisture on a 1 km grid. Here, we evaluate G2G soil moisture simulations against in situ neutron probe (NP) observations at 85 sites across Great Britain, to evaluate whether modelled soil moisture outputs have value and to identify areas for improvement. •New Hydrological Insights for the Region: Despite large uncertainties in observed soil moisture within a site, there was a good temporal correlation between observed and modelled soil moisture, with Pearson correlation values exceeding 0.7 for 77% of sites. However, the model tended to under-predict soil moisture values (median bias of −12 cm/m) and over-predict variation (median standard deviation error of 2 cm/m). Model agreement with observations was generally better for areas with deep or mid-depth mineral soils and worst in areas of peat. Based on this evaluation against NP observations, we demonstrate that G2G soil moisture is a useful resource for estimating relative wetness of the soil, but not necessarily the soil moisture content values themselves.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2214-5818
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: soil moisture, grid-to-grid, hydrological model, Great Britain, performance, evaluation
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Agriculture and Soil Science
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Date made live: 19 Mar 2024 09:47 +0 (UTC)

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