The effect of surface sealing on soil moisture dynamics in a semiarid hillslope Academic Article uri icon


  • Understanding the mechanisms underlying hillslope soil moisture dynamics and vegetation patchiness remains a current challenge in hydrology, especially in ungauged watersheds. In dry areas, these mechanisms include the formation of surface seals, that although directly affects infiltration and evaporation fluxes, researchers usually disregard its development when predicting soil moisture patterns. The role of these seals in shaping spatial and temporal patterns of soil moisture, considered as the primary limiting factor for dry area plant distribution, is still an open research gap. At the LTER Lehavim site, in the center of Israel (31020'N, 34045'E), a typical hillslope (0.115 Km2) was chosen offering different aspects and a classic geomorphologic banding. Annual rainfall is 290 mm, the soils are brown lithosols and arid brown loess and the dominant rock formations are Eocenean limestone …

publication date

  • January 1, 2010