Journal article

Hillslope-scale prediction of terrain and forest canopy effects on temperature and near-surface soil moisture deficit

Sean F Walsh, Petter Nyman, Gary J Sheridan, Craig C Baillie, Kevin G Tolhurst, Thomas J Duff

International Journal of Wildland Fire | CSIRO Publishing | Published : 2017


Soil moisture has important effects on fuel availability, but is often assessed using drought indices at coarse spatial resolution, without accounting for the fine-scale spatial effects of terrain and canopy variation on forest floor moisture. In this study, we examined the spatial variability of air temperature, litter temperature and near-surface soil moisture (θ, 0–100 mm) using data from field experiments at 17 sites in south-east Australia, covering a range of topographic aspects and vegetation types, within climates from semiarid to wet montane. Temperatures and θ in mountainous environments were found to vary at much finer spatial scales than typical drought index grid dimensions (sev..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded through the Victorian Government Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme (NDRGS) and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). The authors would also like to thank DELWP for providing experimental data from the Hattah and Casterton sites.