Analysis of soil moisture condition under different land uses in the arid region of Horqin sandy land, northern China

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Land use plays an important role in controlling spatial and temporal variations of soil moisture by influencing infiltration rates, runoff, and evapotranspiration, which is substantive meaning to crop growth and vegetation restoration in semiarid environments, such as the Horqin Sandy Land in north China. However, few studies have been conducted comparing differences of dynamics of soil water conditions and the responses of soil water to precipitation infiltration under different land use types in this semiarid region. Five different land use types were selected to analyze soil moisture variations in relation to land use patterns during the growing season of two years. Results showed that soil moisture condition was affected by different land uses in semi-arid sandy land. The order of soil moisture (from high to low) among different land uses was grassland, cropland, poplar land, inter-dunes and shrub land. The temporal variations of soil moisture in different land uses were not always consistent with the rainfall due to the dry sequence. Moreover, soil water in surface, root zone and deep soil layer indicated statistical difference for different land covers. Meanwhile, temporal variations of soil moisture profile changed with precipitation. However, in deep soil layer, there was a clear lag in response to precipitation. In addition, seasonal variations of profile soil moisture were classified into two types: increasing and waving types. And the stable soil water layer was at 80–120 cm. Furthermore, the infiltration depth exhibited a positive correlation with precipitation under all land uses. This study provided an insight into the implications for land and agricultural water management in this area.




Niu, C. Y., Musa, A., & Liu, Y. (2015). Analysis of soil moisture condition under different land uses in the arid region of Horqin sandy land, northern China. Solid Earth, 6(4), 1157–1167.

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