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Graf A.,Agrosphere InstituteForschungszentrum Julich | Bogena H.R.,Agrosphere InstituteForschungszentrum Julich | Drue C.,UmweltmeteorologieUniversitat Trier | Hardelauf H.,Agrosphere InstituteForschungszentrum Julich | And 3 more authors.
Water Resources Research | Year: 2014

We examined 3 years of measured daily values of all major water budget components (precipitation P, potential evapotranspiration PET, actual evapotranspiration ET, and runoff R) and volumetric soil water content θ of a small, forested catchment located in the west of Germany. The spatial distribution of θ was determined from a wireless sensor network of 109 points with 3 measurement depths each; ET was calculated from eddy-covariance tower measurements. The water budget was dominantly energy limited, with ET amounting to approximately 90% of PET, and a runoff ratio R/P of 56%. P, ET, and R closed the long-term water budget with a residual of 2% of precipitation. On the daily time scale, the residual of the water budget was larger than on the annual time scale, and explained to a moderate extent by θ (R2 = 0.40). Wavelet analysis revealed subweekly time scales, presumably dominated by unaccounted fast-turnover storage terms such as interception, as a major source of uncertainty in water balance closure. At weekly resolution, soil water content explained more than half (R2 = 0.62) of the residual. By means of combined empirical orthogonal function and cluster analysis, two slightly different spatial patterns of θ could be identified that were associated with mean θ values below and above 0.35 cm3/cm 3, respectively. The timing of these patterns as well as the varying coherence between PET, ET, and soil water content responded to changes in water availability, including a moderate response to the European drought in spring 2011. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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