Title

Soil moisture: A central and unifying theme in physical geography

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Publication Title

Progress in Physical Geography

Volume

35

Issue

1

First Page

65

Last Page

86

DOI

10.1177/0309133310386514

Keywords

biogeography, climatology, geomorphology, hydrology, soil moisture

Abstract

Soil moisture is a critical component of the earth system and plays an integrative role among the various subfields of physical geography. This paper highlights not just how soil moisture affects atmospheric, geomorphic, hydrologic, and biologic processes but that it lies at the intersection of these areas of scientific inquiry. Soil moisture impacts earth surface processes in such a way that it creates an obvious synergistic relationship among the various subfields of physical geography. The dispersive and cohesive properties of soil moisture also make it an important variable in regional and microclimatic analyses, landscape denudation and change through weathering, runoff generation and partitioning, mass wasting, and sediment transport. Thus, this paper serves as a call to use research in soil moisture as an integrative and unifying theme in physical geography. © The Author(s) 2010.