The Dependence of Bare Soil Albedo on Soil Water Content

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  • 1 U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Ariz. 85040
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Abstract

Simple albedo measurement may prove useful for sensing surface soil water content and as a research tool in the study of evaporation of water from soil. Intensive concurrent measurements of the albedo and soil water content of a drying bare soil indicate that albedo, normalized for sun zenith angle effects, is a linear function of the soil water content of a very thin surface layer (less than 0.2 cm thick) over a sizeable volumetric water content range (0.00 to 0.18 for an Avondale loam). Albedo is also well correlated with the average soil water content of greater soil thicknesses. Measurements to a depth of 10 cm indicate that the relation is relatively independent of season.

Abstract

Simple albedo measurement may prove useful for sensing surface soil water content and as a research tool in the study of evaporation of water from soil. Intensive concurrent measurements of the albedo and soil water content of a drying bare soil indicate that albedo, normalized for sun zenith angle effects, is a linear function of the soil water content of a very thin surface layer (less than 0.2 cm thick) over a sizeable volumetric water content range (0.00 to 0.18 for an Avondale loam). Albedo is also well correlated with the average soil water content of greater soil thicknesses. Measurements to a depth of 10 cm indicate that the relation is relatively independent of season.

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