Feedback between surface sealing and regional evaporation fluxes: new insights and implications for desertification processes Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Physical sealing of the soil is a widespread natural process in bare soil patches between shrubs, occurring frequently in dry environments. The seal layer has significantly lower hydraulic conductivity than the underlying undisturbed soil and thus it affects significantly hydrological fluxes. The presence of seal layer has been shown previously to be a negative feedback for water available for the vegetation by reducing infiltration that leads to runoff initiation and consequently, propagation of desertification processes. The seal layer, however, has also shown a positive feedback disregarded previously, resulting from suppressed evaporation fluxes from the soil which can have a much broader impact and affect water budget of dry areas at the regional scale. This positive feedback is studied in this research with model-based analysis of both measured local climatic records and …

publication date

  • December 1, 2012