Some commonly used assumptions about climatically induced soil moisture fluxes within years and between different parts of a region were challenged with the help of a conceptual soil moisture model. The model was optimised against neutron probe measurements from forest and grassland sites. Five 10 yrs and one 105 yrs long climatic records, from the province of Östergötland, situated in south-central Sweden, were used as driving variables. It was concluded that some of the tested assumptions should not be taken for granted. Among these were the beliefs that interannual variations of soil moisture contents can be neglected in the beginning of the hydrological year and that soils usually are filled up to field capacity after the autumn recharge. The calculated climatic induced dryness was estimated to be rather insensitive to the choice of climatic stations within the region. Monthly ranges of soil moisture deficits (1883-1987) were shown to be skewed and it is therefore recommended to use medians and standard deviations in statistical analyses of “normal” ranges of soil moisture deficits.
- Received January 18, 1989.
- © IWA Publishing 1989