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The 2019-2020 Australian drought and bushfires altered the partitioning of hydrological fluxes

Kumar, Sujay V., Holmes, Thomas, Andela, Niels ORCID:, Dharssi, Imtiaz, Vinodkumar, Hain, Christopher, Peters-Lidard, Christa, Mahanama, Sarith P., Arsenault, Kristi R., Nie, Wanshu and Getirana, Augusto 2021. The 2019-2020 Australian drought and bushfires altered the partitioning of hydrological fluxes. Geophysical Research Letters 48 (1) , e2020GL091411. 10.1029/2020GL091411

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Though coarse in spatial resolution, the nearly all weather measurements from passive microwave sensors can help in improving the spatio‐temporal coverage of optical and thermal infrared sensors for monitoring vegetation changes on the land surface. This study demonstrates the use of vegetation optical depth (VOD) retrievals from the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission for capturing the vegetation alterations from the recent 2019 to 2020 Australian bushfires and drought. The impact of vegetation disturbances on terrestrial water budget is examined by assimilating the VOD retrievals into a dynamic phenology model. The results demonstrate that assimilating VOD observations lead to improved simulation of evapotranspiration, runoff, and soil moisture states. The study also demonstrates that the vegetation changes from the 2019 to 2020 Australian drought and fires led to significant modifications in the partitioning of evaporative and runoff fluxes, resulting in increased bare soil evaporation, reduced transpiration, and higher runoff.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2020
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 13:51

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