A Method for Evaluating the Effects of Topography on the Soil Water Balance
Abstract:Average solar radiation values for the growing season for various slopes and aspects are used to compute the receipt of solar radiation as percentage differences from the amount received on a horizontal surface. These percentages are shown in graphic form and are used to correct potential evapotranspiration data in computing water balances by the Thornthwaite and Mather method. Water balances were computed for 21 combinations of slope and aspect, for three types of precipitation years--wet, normal and dry--and for two soil moisture storage capacities--4 inches and 10 inches. The type of year was based on departures from a 10-year average obtained from weather records at one station in southern Missouri. The water balances show that for a soil moisture storage of 4 inches, a soil moisture deficit of 2.93 inches occurs on a north 50° slope in a normal year. In a dry year on a 50° west slope, the deficit amounts to 17.61 inches. For the 10-inch storage capacity, the deficit ranges from 1.40 inches to 12.61 inches for the same combination of slope, aspect and type of year. A deficit of 0.08 inch occurs in one month of the growing season during a wet year. The methods used in this paper may be applied to any locality when latitude and average monthly cloud cover for the growing season are taken into account.
Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Associate Professor of Forestry at the University of Missouri
Publication date: 1963-12-01
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