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A Land Surface Water Decit Model for an Arid and Semiarid Region: Impact of Desertication on the Water Decit Status in the Loess Plateau, China
QINXUE WANG*
AND

HIDENORI TAKAHASHI

Laboratory of Geoecology, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan (Manuscript received 18 April 1997, in nal form 3 March 1998) ABSTRACT A land surface water decit model was developed for a large-scale heterogeneous arid and semiarid area with various soil, vegetation, and land use types, and used to simulate seasonal and spatial variability in potential (E 0 ) and actual (E a ) evapotranspiration and an index of water decit (WDI). Comparisons with the results of other commonly used models and natural vegetation conditions suggest that this model can give an estimate of the success for large-scale regional studies. By using the model, the authors estimated E 0 , E a , and WDI in a grid cell of 0.25 lat 0.25 long over the Loess Plateau, China. Finally, the sensitivities of the model to both a vegetation parameter and an assumed desertication case were simulated, and several highly sensitive areas were found to be the risk regions to desertication.

1. Introduction It is widely recognized that land usecover changes (LUCC), such as desertication in arid and semiarid regions and deforestation in tropical zones, may exert an inuence on regional or even global environmental change by changing the hydrological cycle and surface energy balance. The desire to gain a better understanding of the impact of LUCC on the global environment has stimulated many studies of land surfaceatmosphere interactions using coupled soilvegetationatmosphere transfer (SVAT) models. Over the past decades, there has been signicant progress in the development of SVAT parameterizations, which differ in their description of surface processes, amount of input data required, and time and space scales (Braud et al. 1995). They range from simple big-leaf models to multilayer models with higher-order closure formulations, and their spatial scale ranges from local small-scale homogeneity to regional macroscale heterogeneity, and even to a global scale. The simple models usually describe soils covered with one or two vegetation layers, and solve the energy balance equation for each layer (Deardorff 1977; Taconet et al. 1986; Serafni 1987; Noilhan and Planton

* Current afliation: Eco Frontier Fellow, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan. Corresponding author address: Dr. Qinxue Wang, Institute of Geography, Hokkaido University of Education, Asahikawa, Hokkaido 070-8621, Japan. E-mail: qinxue@yahoo.com

1989). Other models, such as BATs of Dickinson (1984) and SiB1 of Sellers et al. (1986), include detailed radiation transfer schemes to estimate the incoming and outgoing short- and longwave radiation components. In the revised SiB2 model of Sellers et al. (1996), satellite data are used to specify the canopy photosynthetically active radiation, leaf area index (LAI), and canopy greenness fraction. All of these models were derived for a realistic description of the interacting processes at the soilvegetationatmosphere interface. Use of these models to investigate the impact of Amazonian deforestation and Sahel desertication (e.g., Dickinson and Henderson-Sellers 1988; Nobre et al. 1991; Xue and Shukla 1993; Xue 1996) has shown that land surface changes play an important role in regional climatic anomalies. Land usecover changes have seriously occurred in arid and semiarid regions of northern China mainly due to intensive and continuous human-induced disturbances such as excessive reclamation, overgrazing, and denudation. According to aerial photographs, TM imagery analysis and eld investigation (Zhu and Wang 1993), sandy desertied land in the arid and semiarid regions of northern China has increased by 25 200 km 2 from 1975 to 1987, an annual average increase of 2100 km 2 . The desertied area in some regions has almost doubled in size over the last few decades. The main areas of desertied land on the Loess Plateau are extending to 47 counties on the Mu Us sandy land and the area along the Great Wall. According to GISLPs (1991) investigation, the total area of desertied land is 118 000 km 2 , of which 35 000 km 2 is severely deser-

1999 American Meteorological Society

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WANG AND TAKAHASHI TABLE 1. Several commonly used indices of aridity.

245

Authors and reference De Martonne (I M ) (1925) 05 desert 510 grass 30 forest

Ranges

Equation IM P Ta 10 E0 P Rn LP 0.16 T10 P (1)

Penman (I P ) (1948)

IP 1.1 forest 1.12.3 grass 2.33.4 semidesert 3.4 desert 1.0 the boundary of subhumid and humid zone

(2)

Budyko (I B ) (1956)

IB

(3)

CNC (I Z ) (1959)

IZ

(4)

tied, 29 500 km 2 is moderately desertied, and 52 800 km 2 is slightly desertied. Impacts of desertication are most clearly manifested by the land surface water status. The aim of this study was to establish a water decit index (WDI) by using a regional water decit model and to evaluate the impact of desertication on the WDI. The regional model is a simplied but interdisciplinary one, which combined meteorological measurements with soil, vegetation, and land use data derived from remote-sensing measurements. WDI, recently used by Moran et al. (1994) to dene a soil-canopy water decit status, was derived from the original concept of Crop Water Stress index (CWSI) introduced by Jackson et al. (1981). CWSI is directly

determined by the minimal, maximal, and mean values of the foliage and air temperature difference. However, it is only applicable to conditions of full vegetation coverage. Moran et al. (1994) developed a graphic method that allowed the index to be estimated for a partial canopy incorporating, in addition, fractional vegetation coverage. Based on the simulation results, however, Moran et al. (1994) pointed out that further renement of WDI should take into account coupled ux exchanges between the soilvegetationatmosphere continuum (SVAC). The present study presents a new approach that combines major land surface properties for estimating the index in a large heterogeneous arid and semiarid area with various soil, vegetation, and land use types. The concept of the model is described in section 2. Parameterization of the model is shown in section 3. Study area, parameters, and data processing are given in section 4. The feasibility of the model is discussed in section 5, and the sensitivity of the models outputs to desertication is analyzed in section 6. 2. Basic model There have been many studies of land-surface aridity using various indices such as those of De Martonne (1925), Budyko (1956), Penman (1948), and CNC (1959) (Table 1). However, these indices were developed from empirical or semiempirical relationships between measured evapotranspiration and climatic factors such as net radiation, air temperature, and precipitation, and do not capture physical processes in the SVAC. In the present study, a physically based index representing the water decit status of a large-scale heterogeneous area was derived based on the results of recent SVAT studies. The water decit index of Moran et al. (1994) is dened as WDI 1 Ea , E0 (5)

FIG. 1. A theoretical scheme showing different land use types vs WDI and vegetation fraction (veg), and the direction of desertication and deforestation vs these two indices.

where E 0 and E a are the potential and actual evapotranspiration. WDI varies from 0 to 1. WDI 0 means that the land surface is extremely humid and covered

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TABLE 2. Land cover types and their characteristic parameters. Values of these parameters were determined according to BATs (Dickinson and Henderson-Sellers 1988). Vegetation types Deciduous broad-leaf tree Deciduous needle-leaf tree Deciduous shrub Crops Typical grass Short grass Semidesert Desert Z 0i 0.8 1.0 0.3 0.06 0.1 0.02 0.1 0.05

vii
0.08 0.05 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.1 0.17 0.2

nii
0.28 0.23 0.28 0.28 0.3 0.3 0.34 0.4

LAImaxi 6 6 6 4 4 2 1 0

LAImini 1 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.2 0

Rsmini 100 150 80 40 40 40 250 250

by well-watered forest or water-saturated soil, and WDI 1 means that the surface is in an extremely arid condition or completely covered by desert. Figure 1 illustrates a theoretical scheme showing the relationship between WDI and the vegetation fraction (veg), which can be used to show different land use types versus different WDI and veg. The directions (arrows in Fig. 1) of land use changes such as deforestation and desertication can also be shown by this scheme. To estimate WDI, we developed a regional land surface parameterization, which is described in the following section. 3. Parameterization The parameterization includes three main parts: land surface resistances, radiation transfer, and energy balance in the evapotranspiration processes. a. Estimation of surface resistances 1) AERODYNAMIC
RESISTANCES

roughness length, which depends on the vegetation types (Table 2); and d is surface displacement height, which can be estimated by (Wollenweber 1995) d 1.1h ln[1 (C d LAI)1/4 ]. (8)

The aerodynamic resistance of momentum (ram ) was determined by using Monteiths (1981) Eq. (5), which has been proven by Lu (1992), by a comparison of its results with seven other models with consideration to stratication stability, to be appropriate for regional study: ram ln

zd z0

u 1.6 ln
2

zd z0

u.

(9)

2) CANOPY

RESISTANCES

From the point of view of diffusion, the aerodynamic resistances of momentum (ram ), heat (rah ), and water vapor (rav ) have the following relationships (Grace et al. 1981; Thom 1972): rav 0.93rah , rah ram 6.266u* ,
2/3

Among land surface resistances, canopy resistances that is, stomatal and leaf boundary resistancesplay a special role in surface interactions. A physically based stomatal resistance, which depends on incoming solar radiation (Q), maximum irradiance (Qmax ), soil moisture (w s ), wilting point (wwilt ), and leaf area index (LAI), was selected with c1 0.03 (Taconet et al. 1986) as follows: rst rsto

(6)

Qmax 1.2 wwilt c1 Qmax Q ws

1 0.5LAI , LAI

(10)

where the friction velocity, u* (symbols are listed in appendix), can be calculated from the reference level wind speed using similarity theory (Monin and Obukhov 1954). Thom (1975) gave a simplied function: u* u ln

where the minimum stomatal resistance rsto depends on vegetation types (Table 2). The leaf boundary resistance (rlb ) was calculated according to Kustas (1990) formula for estimating latent heat uxes over a partial canopy cover: rlb A (l /u)1/2 , (11)

zd . z0

(7)

Here is the von Ka rma n constant (0.41); z 0 is the

where l is a characteristic length scale for an average leaf width (0.05 m) and A is a constant (90 s1/2 m1 ).

TABLE 3. Monthly coefcients a and b for calculation of global radiation over northern China. Jan a1 a2 0.06 0.7 Feb 0.02 0.76 Mar 0.19 0.47 Apr 0.09 0.62 May 0.03 0.73 Jun 0.07 0.65 Jul 0.11 0.54 Aug 0.04 0.68 Sep 0.12 0.57 Oct 0.09 0.6 Nov 0.12 0.56 Dec 0.08 0.64

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b. Effective parameters for vegetation and soil To compute regionally averaged uxes over a large area, averaging operators were chosen to calculate effective parameters. It is assumed that one grid cell can be classied into several land use classes for which the fractions are i (i f, gs, c, d, etc., which represent forest, grass, cultivated land, desert, etc., respectively) of each category is known, together with its surface properties i , rstoi , LAI i , and z 0i (Table 2). Then, the effective parameters of surface properties , rsto , LAI, and z 0 can be estimated as the mean weighted by the fractional coverage of the different vegetation types (Noilhan and Lacarrere 1995):

a, LAI LAI , ln(z ), ln(z ), 1 1 . r r


a
i i i i i i 0 i 0i i i sto i stoi

(13) (14) (15) (16)

Seasonal changes in the parameters were considered calculated using the monthly time series of total and green-leaf area indices, vegetation coverage, albedo, and surface roughness length for the major SiB vegetation types (Dorman and Sellers 1989).
FIG. 2. Location and climatic classication of the Loess Plateau (Zhang and Wang 1989) and the distribution of 107 meteorological stations used in the present study.

c. Radiation transfer A semiempirical model is used to describe the net radiation transfer with respect to vegetation and bare soil surface (Shuttleworth and Wallace 1985):

3) SOIL

SURFACE RESISTANCE

Rnv R n [1 e (0.7LAI) ], Rns R n Rnv , (17) where R n , which is total net radiation, can be written as

Soil surface resistance was estimated by the empirical formula of SiB2 (Sellers et al. 1996): rsoil exp(8.206 4.255w s ) . (12)

TABLE 4. Main soil types and their depth, textures, and clay content in the Loess Plateau of China (GISLP 1991). Soil texture Heavy loam Soil type Burozem Drab soils Manured loessial soils Oasis soils Gray-drab forest soils Chernozems Meadow soils Yellow loessial soils Alpine meadow soils Chestnut soils Dark loessial soils Sierozems Gray desert soils Brown soils Aeolian sandy soils Soil depth 100 150 250 200 100 70 120 200 50 150 250 150 100 100 20 Clay content 4555 4854 2038 2238 2040 3142 2425 1021 810 wsat 0.476 0.476 0.476 0.476 0.451 0.451 0.451 0.451 0.451 0.451 0.435 0.41 0.41 0.359 0.359 wfc 0.146 0.146 0.146 0.146 0.123 0.123 0.123 0.123 0.123 0.123 0.103 0.093 0.093 0.062 0.062 wwilt 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.03

Medium loam

Light loam Sandy loam Sandy soil

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FIG. 3. Dominant soil textures (a) and vegetation types (b) derived from the Soil and Vegetation Map of China.

R n [Rvi (1 vi ) Rni (1 ni )] a1 a2

s S

near-infrared (Rni ) components, which are estimated by (Ferenc 1994) Rvi 0.52(Q q) Rni 0.48(Q q), (19)

s T (0.36 0.08e a ) 0.10 0.90 . (18) S


4

Shortwave radiation is divided into visible (Rvi ) and

where Q and q are potential direct solar radiation and indirect shortwave radiation in clear sky (W m2 ), and a and b are the empirical coefcients (Liu et al. 1991) shown in Table 3.

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One important parameter in Eqs. (20)(24), , which is called the shielding factor (Ben Mehrez et al. 1992), is calculated by

1 e (LAI) .

(26)

This factor changes from 0 to 1 depending on the leaf area index (LAI) and , a weight coefcient of LAI that depends on soil, vegetation, and land use types. Here 0 means vegetation has no leaves or bare soil, and 1 means full-leafed vegetation ground. In section 5, the dependence of E a and WDI on this parameter will be discussed. Soil heat ux (G ) can be estimated simply as a fraction of R n dependent only upon the range of annual air temperature. e. Treatment of soil water content Many studies (e.g., Mahrt and Pan 1984; Wetzel and Chang 1987) have shown that the relationship between soil moisture and evapotranspiration depends strongly on soil, atmospheric, and vegetation conditions. In the present study, soil moisture is estimated by the so-called force restore method proposed by Deadroff (1977) and modied by Noilhan and Planton (1989): dw s C C 1 (P Eas ) 2 (w s w2 ) dt w d1 when 0 w s wsat
FIG. 4. Schematic procedures used to generate surface parameters, evapotranspiration, and WDI.

dw2 1 (P Eas Eav ) dt w d2

when 0 w2 wsat , (27)

d. Estimation of evapotranspiration A modied version of the PenmanMonteith equation was derived for vegetation and bare soil surface: Eav Rnv C p [e s (T a ) e a ]/rah (rst rlb rav )/rah (Rns G ) C p [e s (T s ) e a ]/rah . (rsoil rav )/rah (20) (21)

Eas (1 )

where P should be treated as the difference between precipitation and runoff. According to the China Map of Runoff (Jiang 1989), the annual runoff is less than 50 mm in most of study area and is around 100 mm for only a small area in the subhumid zone. Because this model is developed mainly for an arid and semiarid region, we neglected the runoff in this study. The neglect might cause a small increase in E a and decrease in WDI. The two dimensionless coefcients C1 and C 2 were estimated for different soil textures by C1 C1sat C2 C2 ref

The total actual evapotranspiration can then be estimated by E a Eav Eas . (22) However, if the surface is saturated by water vapor that is, rst rlb rsoil 0 and rav rahthen Eqs. (20) and (21) become E0 v Rnv C p [e s (T a ) e a ]/rah (Rns G ) C p [e s (T s ) e a ]/rah . (23) (24)


wsat ws

b /21

sat

w2 , w2 0.001

(28)

E0 s (1 )

and values and parameters used in Eqs. (27)(28) versus soil textures were employed from Noilhan and Planton (1989). The initial data of w s (199091) was obtained from 24 agricultural meteorological stations in the Loess Plateau of China. 4. Study area, parameters, and data The Loess Plateau of China was selected as the study area because of its heterogeneity of land surface and its

Then, the potential evapotranspiration can be calculated by E 0 E 0 E 0s . (25)

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FIG. 5. Distribution of annual-mean E 0 , E a , and WDI estimated by the regional water decit model.

sensitive ecological and environmental conditions. The plateau is located in northern China (3441N, 100 115E) with a total area of 632 520 km 2 , accounting for 6.3% of the entire land area of China (Fig. 2). Most of the plateau lies on the transitional border between the

monsoon climatic zone and the continental arid climate zone. The annual precipitation is 200600 mm, and the mean temperature range is 512.5C from northwest to southeast. According to climatic classication (Zhang and Wang 1989), the plateau can be divided into four

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nant soil textures and vegetation types in each 0.25 lat 0.25 long grid cell. The map of soil texture was derived from the Soil Map of China (Li et al. 1989) and investigated data (Table 4) of GISLP (1991). The classication is based on the dominant soil texture and distinguishes between ve types (Fig. 3a): sand, sandy loam, light loam, medium loam, and heavy loam. The soil moisture parameters, wsat , wfc , and wwilt , are prescribed from this map with reference to Clapp and Hornbergers (1978) experiment. Land cover classication (Fig.3b) was based on the Vegetation Map of China (He 1989) and was then used to construct maps of parameters. The values of parameters assigned to each type of dominant vegetation were determined based on those of BATs shown in Table 2. The fraction coverage of each land-cover category i , which was derived from remote-sensing measurements (GISLP 1991), was used to compute effective parameters with Eqs (13)(16). 5. Implementation and discussion a. Implementation of the model 1) FLOWCHART
OF SIMULATION

FIG. 6. (a) Seasonal changes in E 0 , E a , and WDI in the whole study area (mean value of 107 grid cells) and (b) changes in WDI in four climatic subzones (ART, averages of 28 stations; SAT, 28 stations; SAW, 35 stations; and SHW, 16 stations).

subzones (Fig. 2): arid temperate zone (ART), semiarid temperate zone (SAT), semiarid warm temperate zone (SAW), and subhumid warm temperate zone (SHW). From ART to SHWthat is, from northwest to southeastglobal solar radiation decreases gradually, whereas air and soil temperatures, precipitation, and humidity increase. There are no apparent differences in the mean wind speed over the whole plateau. The coverage of forest and shrubs in SAW is greater than that in other zones due to more mountainous regions. The fraction of typical-grass land and cultivated land increases from ART to SHW, whereas that of short-grass land decreases gradually. Meteorological data from 107 stations, including monthly mean (195191) air and ground temperatures, precipitation, sunshine duration, wind speed, and air vapor pressure, were used in this simulation. It should be recognized that the data from meteorological stations cannot logically be applied to the various vegetation types being studied. Using this dataset is just due to difculty to obtain ground-based observations over such a large heterogeneous area for its very pilot study. Theoretically the application of remote-sensing data might greatly complement this shortage, which leaves us many problems to be solved in the next step. Soil and vegetation parameters were mainly derived from the domi-

Fundamentally, the model equations are based on micrometeorology, and are used on short timescale (time step 1 day). However, some meteorological factors such as S and P are monthly total values, which need to be interpolated into diurnal values. In the present study, we simply used monthly total values divided by the number of days in each month and obtained diurnal values. On the other hand, the meteorological measurements of 107 stations were interpolated into each 0.25 lat 0.25 long grid cell with the distance weight least squares methods, and the land surface parameters in each grid cell were derived from various maps of China mentioned above. Figure 4 shows the owchart of data processing and simulation. 2) DISTRIBUTION
OF ESTIMATED VALUES

Monthly E 0 , E a , and WDI in each grid cell of 0.25 lat 0.25 long were estimated based on our dataset and the annual-mean distributions are shown in Fig. 5. As seen in Fig. 5, all of the estimated values have apparent regional differences. Here E 0 was large (about 1000 mm) in the southeast (SHW), then decreased to 700900 mm in the middle (SAW), and nally increased to a maximum of about 1400 mm in the northwest (ART); E a ranged from a maximum of about 500 mm in the SHW to a minimum of about 100 mm in the ART; and WDI ranged from a minimum of about 0.5 to a maximum of about 0.9. The reason for the peakvalleypeak pattern of E 0 was due to a higher temperature in the SHW zone and larger solar radiation in the ART zone. However, E a was dependent to a large extent on soil moisture conditions and the vegetation fraction. Under natural conditions, E a decreases gradually from

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Name Schreiber Budyko Thornthwaite

References (Lu and Gao 1987) (Budyko 1955) (Thornthwaite 1944)

Periods Annual Annual Monthly Ea P (1 eRn/LP)

Equations (29) (30)

10T E 1.62 , I T I i, i 5
Ea E0 tg
c a 12 i1

P P (1 eE 0 /P ) E0

1.514

c 0.000000675I 3 0.0000771I 2 0.0179I 0.49 CNC (CNC 1959) Annual Ea 0.16

(31) (32)

10

southeast to northwest (from SHW to ART) due to the monsoon climate. As a result, WDI in the four regions is clearly in the order of ART SAT SAW SHW throughout the year. Although the area near Yinchuan is in the ART, the estimated values of WDI are relatively smaller than other parts of the ART. This exception is due to intensive irrigation in this area, a major grain growing area in China. 3) SEASONAL
CHANGES IN ESTIMATED VALUES

measurements. Since the outputs of the model, such as E a and WDI, are difcult to observe for various vegetation types in a large-scale area, the feasibility of our model can be only partially validated by 1) comparing the estimated value of E a with those of other commonly used equations listed in Table 5 and 2) analyzing the correspondence between estimated WDI and natural vegetation condition. 1) COMPARISON
WITH THE RESULTS OF OTHER EVAPOTRANSPIRATION EQUATIONS

Seasonal variations in E 0 , E a , and WDI were very clear in the study area. The averages of 107 grid cells over the whole plateau are shown in Fig. 6a, in which E 0 and E a had the lowest values in January and the highest values in June, whereas WDI had the lowest value in July and highest value in December. To analyze regional differences in seasonal changes, the averages of E 0 , E a , and WDI in four subzones (ART, 28 stations; SAT, 28 stations; SAW, 35 stations; and SHW, 16 stations) were computed. The results showed that the characteristics of seasonal variation were similar in the four subzones but their amplitudes were different according to the zone. One interesting characteristic is that regional differences are small in winter, but large in summer (Fig. 6b). b. Discussion on the feasibility of the model The validity of the model was usually demonstrated by comparing the estimated values with ground-based
TABLE 6. A comparison of the estimated Ea in different climatic zones by various models (ART, averages of 28 stations; SAT, 28 stations; SAW, 35 stations; SHW, 16 stations, and total area, 107 stations). Schreiber Budyko ART SAT SAW SHW Total area 313.6 404.6 467.8 493.8 410.8 335.9 435.7 522.3 551.3 451.5 CNC 434.1 441.4 501.5 559.6 503.5 Thornthwaite Our model 520.4 524.2 564.9 610.0 568.1 338.5 401.3 430.3 493.1 425.3

In past decades, the lack of basic data and the difculties in measurement required in eld methods have accounted for the great efforts made to develop evapotranspiration equations that can relate the evapotranspiration with some readily available climatic data. There are many methods of estimating potential and actual evapotranspiration, including physically based theoretical approaches, water, and heat balance analytical approaches and empirical approaches based on the relation between measured evapotranspiration and climatic conditions. However, theoretical approaches are difcult for large time and spatial scales. A number of equations have been suggested for different purposes and scales (Veihmeyer 1964). Some typical ones commonly used are listed in Table 5. Many studies conducted in China on these equations have been reviewed by Lu and Gao (1987), who suggested that the mean errors of these methods are within about 15%, in which Budykos and Scheibers methods are better with the mean errors of 0.2% to 5.5% and 5.2% to 13.3%, respectively. The results of these methods were used to compare with those of the present model, which was shown in Table 6. It can be clearly seen that the average values of the present model are very close to these of Budykos and Scheibers equations in different climatic zones, which suggests that our model can output reasonable values of E a , comparable to those estimated by other commonly used models. Here it should be stressed that the present model has its advantage of being able to output regional evapotranspiration values because it has been coupled with land surface properties.

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FIG. 7. Correspondence between frequencies of the grid cells of dominant vegetation types and the estimated WDI.

2) CORRESPONDENCE
CONDITION

WITH NATURAL VEGETATION

According to the denition, WDI indicates the water decit status of land surface, which is most easily manifested on natural vegetation conditions. Different water decit conditions are correspondence with different vegetation types, thus the relationship between the estimated WDI and the distribution of vegetation types will convince us whether this model can output reasonable values or not. For this reason, we counted the frequencies of grid cells for dominant natural vegetation types illustrated in Fig. 7. It can be found that different vegetation types have different distribution patterns of WDI; for example, the large fraction of forest has small WDI (0.70), whereas that of semidesert and desert land have large WDI (0.75). Shrubs have a large range (0.600.86), whereas the major part of grassland is in the range between forest and desert. This result is consistent with the actual situation, thus supporting WDI as an indicator of the surface water decit on the regional scale. Finally, note that high variability of land surface and difculty of measuring E a in such a large-scale area makes the complete validation very complex. Attempts made above provide only a partial validation of the model for large-scale regional studies. 6. Sensitivity analysis: Impact of desertication The results of this study conrmed that the land surface water decit is closely related to both climatic conditions and surface properties. The land surface is undergoing great changes due to land use and can inuence

the exchange of momentum, energy, and water uxes with the atmosphere. We concentrate in this study on , the weighted coefcient of LAI, and the fractional area of desert land ( d ). The sensitivity to will give us a general concept of the transition from completely bare ground to full-leafed vegetation ground. The sensitivity to d is of particular interest because the effect of desertication can be taken into account through variation of this parameter. Theoretically, removing vegetation would be expected to be accompanied by an increase in surface temperature, which should increase E 0 . However, there is another negative feedbackthat is, removing vegetation would lead to an increase in albedo, then a decrease in net radiation, and hence a reduction in E 0 . As a result, the sensitivity of E 0 to both and d was found to be very small. For this reason, sensitivity analysis was carried out only for E a and WDI. Here note that meteorological factors and soil parameters are used as average values in the sensitivity study. a. Sensitivity to As mentioned in section 3d, changes from 0 to 1 that is, from off-leafed vegetation or bare ground to fullleafed vegetation ground. Changes in would at rst cause changes in the shielding factor of and would then inuence each ux. Figure 8 shows the change in averaged E a and WDI of 107 stations corresponding to the change in . It can be clearly seen that E a increases while WDI decreases exponentially when varies from 0 to 1. This change was especially notable in summer. Therefore, it can be stated that the larger the vegetation leaf area is, the bigger is the actual evapotranspiration, and the smaller is the water decit index.

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desertication occurs only at desert edges and is preceded by progressive degradation of grassland. Of course, if there is no desert in a grid cell, then, d d 0. Thus, the case where desertication occurs initially in a grid cell was not taken into consideration. Figure 9 shows fraction of desert in total area both at control and desertication cases. Differences [dE a (%) and dWDI] between desertication case and control case were simulated under the assumption mentioned above. Figure 10 shows the results of dE a (%) and dWDI in summer over the whole plateau. It can be found that there are highly sensitive areas distributed in the north central part of the plateau near Yulin and the northwestern boundary area of the Loess Plateau. In these regions, vegetation destruction might cause an obvious decrease in evapotranspiration (5%20%) and an increase of WDI (0.010.1) that is, an aggravation of land surface water stress. Therefore, these regions should be carefully treated or protected. Unfortunately, due to the continuous increase in population and exploration of natural resources, these regions are being subject to intensive human activities, which will continue in the future. 7. Conclusions
FIG. 8. Sensitivity of (a) E a and (b) WDI to the weight coefcient in Jan, Apr, Jul, and Oct.

b. Sensitivity to d To analyze the sensitivity of the model to desertication, the fraction of desert in each grid cell was assumed to expand gradually from a control case ( d ) that is, current conditions, to a desertication case ( d d 2 d ), that is, doubling of the desert fraction. Here it is assumed that if d d 100, then d d 100. With an increase in the fraction of desert land, on the contrary, it can be assumed that the grassland fraction is g d , which physically means that

A regional water decit model has been developed for a large arid and semiarid region with heterogeneous land surface properties. This model can be used to estimate the regional evapotranspiration (E 0 , E a ) and water decit index (WDI) with a grid cell of 0.25 lat 0.25 long by combining meteorological measurements, soil, vegetation, and land use data derived from remotesensing observations. The feasibility of the model has been partially veried by comparisons with the results of other commonly used models and natural vegetation condition, which suggests that the model can give a reasonable estimate for largescale regional studies. Sensitivity analysis showed that changes in E a and WDI caused by desertication are larger in arid and

FIG. 9. Fraction of desert (%) in total area both at control and desertication cases.

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FIG. 10. Changes in E a and WDI after the fraction of desert doubled.

semiarid subzones than in subhumid zones, and also larger in summer than in other seasons. Several highly sensitive geomorphic units, such as the area near Yulin and the northwestern boundary area of the Loess Plateau, were investigated. These regions can be regarded as risk regions that are easily affected by vegetation destruction. Finally, we would like to point out that this is a pilot study on SVAT in the Loess Plateau of China, an area for which there are insufcient measurements for SVAT parameterizations. Needless to say, the comparisons

made above only partially show the validity of the model, but we can say that on a regional scale, this model is an interesting rst attempt to bridge the gap between LUCC and climate changes in regions where there has been no intensive investigation such as that carried out in the Amazonian and Sahel regions. In the future, it is expected that this model can be improved in terms of both resolution and precision along with the progress of remote sensing and ground-based measurements. Acknowledgments. As a joint researcher of the Group

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for Integrated Survey of the Loess Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CISLP, CAS), the rst author participated in investigation and data collection for a project, Rational Utilization of Agricultural Climate Resources in the Loess Plateau, during 198691, which enabled us to conduct this research. Thanks are also due to the Toka Foundation of Education and Cultural Exchange, Japan, which provided nancial aid for this project. APPENDIX List of Symbols A a1, a2 b c c1 C1 , C 2 , C1sat , C 2ref Cd Cp d d1 d2 E 0 , E 0 , E 0s Ea , Eav , Eas ea e s (T a ) G h I IB IM IP IZ L l LAI P Q q Qmax Constant for leaf boundary resistance (90 s1/2 m1 ) Empirical coefcient for global radiation Slope of the retention curve for soil types (Clapp and Hornberger 1978) Empirical coefcient for Thornthwaite equation (Thornthwaite 1944) Coefcient for stomatal resistance (0.03) Parameters in soil moisture equations (Noilhan and Planton 1989) Mean drag coefcient for individual leaves ( 0, 2) Specic heat at constant pressure (J kg1 K1 ) Surface displacement height (m) Depth of top soil layer (10 cm) Depth of subsoil layer (50 cm) Potential evapotranspiration from land surface, vegetation, and bare soil (mm) Actual evapotranspiration from land surface, vegetation, and bare soil (mm) Air vapor pressure at level z a (hPa) Saturated vapor pressure at temperature T a (Pa) Surface soil heat ux (W m2 ) Mean height of vegetation (m) Thornthwaites temperature-efciency index Budykos radiative aridity index De Martonnes aridity index Penmans aridity index CNCs aridity index Latent heat of vaporization (J kg1 ) A characteristic length scale for an average leaf width (0.5 m) Leaf area index Precipitation reaching the soil surface (mm) Potential direct solar radiation in clear sky (W m2 ) Potential indirect shortwave radiation in clear sky (W m2 ) Maximum irradiance (W m2 )

ram , rah , rav rlb Rn , Rns , Rnv rsoil rst rsto RviRni S s T10 TsT Ia u u* veg WDI ws wsat wwilt z z0 vb , nt

d i
w

Aerodynamic resistance for momentum, heat, and vapor, respectively (s m1 ) Leaf boundary resistance (s m1 ) Total net radiation, net radiation for the bare soil, and vegetation, respectively (W m2 ) Soil surface resistance (s m1 ) Stomatal resistance (s m1 ) Minimum stomatal resistance (s m1 ) Visible and near-infrared shortwave radiation, respectively (W m2 ) Possible sunshine duration (h) Sunshine duration (h) Accumulated temperature of 10C Soil surface temperature and air temperature, respectively (K) Wind speed at height z Friction velocity (m s1 ) Vegetation fraction Water decit index Volumetric water content (cm 3 cm3 ) Saturated volumetric water content (cm 3 cm3 ) Wilting point (cm 3 cm3 ) Height of the atmosphere reference level (m) Roughness length for momentum Time step (1 day) Von Ka rma ns constant (0.41) Weight coefcient of leaf area index Albedo to visible and near-infrared radiation, respectively The psychrometer constant (hPa K1 ) Rate of change in saturated vapor pressure with temperature T a (hPa K1 ) Shielding factor of vegetation Fraction area of desert land Fractional area of each land use category in a grid cell Emissivity of surface Density of dry air (kg m3 ) Density of soil water (kg m3 ) StefanBoltzmann constant (5.67 108 W m2 K4 )
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