On the spatial organization of soil moisture fields Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine the apparent disorder which seems to characterize the spatial structure of soil moisture by analyzing large‐scale experimental data. Specifically, we address the statistical structure of soil moisture fields under different scales of observation and find unexpected results. The variance of soil moisture follows a power law decay as function of the area at which the process is observed. The spatial correlation remains unchanged with the scale of observation and follows a power law decay typical of scaling processes. Soil moisture also shows clear scaling properties on its spatial clustering patterns. A well‐defined organization of statistical character is found to exist in soil moisture patterns linking a large range of scales through which the process manifests itself and impacts other processes. We suggest that such scaling properties are crucial to our current understanding and modeling of the dynamics of soil moisture in space and time. Copyright 1995 by the American Geophysical Union.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Rodriguez‐Iturbe, I., Vogel, G. K., Rigon, R., Entekhabi, D., Castelli, F., & Rinaldo, A.

citation count

  • 177

publication date

  • October 1995