Abstract

Soil moisture displays complex spatiotemporal patterns across scales, making it important to disentangle the impacts of environmental factors on soil moisture temporal dynamics at different time scales. This study evaluated the factors affecting soil moisture dynamics at different time scales using long-term soil moisture data obtained from Nebraska and Utah. The empirical mode decomposition method was employed to decompose soil moisture time series into different temporal components with several intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) and one residual component. Results showed that the percent variance contribution (PVC) of IMFs to the total soil moisture temporal variance tended to increase for the IMFs with longer time periods. It indicated that the long-term soil moisture variations in study regions were mainly determined by low-temporal frequency signals related to seasonal climate and vegetation variations. Besides, the PVCs at short- and medium-temporal ranges were positively correlated with climate dryness, while negatively at longer temporal ranges. Moreover, the results suggested that the impact of climate on soil moisture dynamics at different time scales might vary across different climate zones, while soil effect was comparatively less in both regions. It provides additional insights into understanding soil moisture temporal dynamics in regions with contrasting climatic conditions.

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