Development and evaluation of the SoilClim model for water balance and soil climate estimates

Petr Hlavinka, Miroslav Trnka, Jan Balek, Daniela Semerádová, Michael Hayes, Mark Svoboda, Josef Eitzinger, Martin Možný, Milan Fischer, Eric Hunt, Zdeněk Žalud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The newly developed SoilClim model is introduced as a tool for estimates of reference (ETo) and actual (ETa) evapotranspiration, presence of snow cover, soil temperature at 0.5m depth and the soil moisture course within two defined layers. It enables one to determine the soil moisture and temperature regimes according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil taxonomy. SoilClim works with daily time steps and requires maximum and minimum air temperature, global solar radiation, precipitation, vapor pressure and wind speed as meteorological inputs as well as basic information about the soil properties and vegetation cover. The behavior of SoilClim was assessed using observations at 5 stations in central Europe and 15 stations in the central U.S. The modeled ETo was compared with atmometers so that the coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.91 and root mean square error (RMSE) was 0.53mm. The estimated ETa was compared against eddy-covariance and Bowen ratio measurements (R2 varied from 0.74 to 0.80; RMSE varied from 0.49 to 0.58mm). The soil temperature (at 0.5m depth) was estimated with good accuracy (R2 varied from 0.94 to 0.97; RMSE varied from 1.23°C to 2.95°C). The ability of the SoilClim model to mimic the observed soil water dynamics was carefully investigated (relative root mean square error rRMSE varied from 2.8% to 34.0%). The analysis conducted showed that SoilClim gives reasonable estimates of evaluated parameters at a majority of the included stations. Finally, a spatial analysis of soil moisture and temperature regimes (according to USDA) within the region of the Czech Republic and the northern part of Austria under present conditions was conducted and diagnosed the appearance of Perudic, Subhumid Udic, Dry Tempudic (the highest frequency), Wet Tempustic and Typic Tempustic. The simulated mean soil temperature (0.5m depth) varied from less than 7.0°C to 11.0°C throughout this region. Based on these results, the SoilClim model is a useful and suitable tool for water balance and soil climate assessment on local and regional scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1261
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 30 2011


  • Atmometer
  • Bowen ratio
  • Eddy-covariance
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Lysimeter
  • Soil moisture
  • TDR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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