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Reading: Influences of temperature and precipitation on soil moisture in Anuradhapura District

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Influences of temperature and precipitation on soil moisture in Anuradhapura District

Authors:

Udeni P Nawagamuwa ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About Udeni P
Department of Civil Engineering
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George M Hornberger,

Vanderbilt University, USA, US
About George M
Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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Thushara Gunda

Sandia National Laboratories, USA, US
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Abstract

Impact of climate change on soil properties has been studied by several researchers. However, the influence of soil moisture has received little attention as a key component of agricultural climate change. Using meteorological data in Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka (one of the main paddy producers in the island nation), this study evaluated the impact of climate change on soil moisture. Monthly soil moisture values were calculated using a water balance approach. Analysis of historical data (from 1950 to 2016) indicate a strong seasonal influence on soil moisture patterns. Correlation analysis between paddy yield and physical variables indicated that soil moisture is a stronger covariate than either temperature or precipitation alone. A good relationship between soil moisture and the El Niño effect was not identified. Scenario analyses indicated that soil moisture is more sensitive to precipitation changes than temperature changes in Anuradhapura. This study highlights the value of continuous monitoring of soil moisture along with other climatic data for insights regarding mitigation of future agricultural concerns.

How to Cite: Nawagamuwa, U.P., Hornberger, G.M. and Gunda, T., 2018. Influences of temperature and precipitation on soil moisture in Anuradhapura District. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 46(4), pp.519–526. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v46i4.8627
Published on 31 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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