Universität Innsbruck

Moisture fluxes between the surface and the atmosphere

Knowledge gap

Soil moisture content and related fluxes in high-resolution atmospheric models are currently a major source of uncertainty. In a recent study by Schmidli and Quimbayo-Duarte (2023) the authors found that only the combination of an increased soil moisture (+30 %) and a finer horizontal grid spacing of the numerical weather prediction (NWP) model (550 m instead of 1.1 km) resulted in a significant improvement of the simulated flow patterns in the Sion region (Swiss Rhone Valley).

Potential Activities/Goals
  • Comprehensive measurement and modeling campaigns on soil moisture, evaporation and evapotranspiration in the surroundings of Innsbruck, including e.g. the i-Box site Kolsass (one of the mean target areas of the TEAMx Observational Campaign), at different spatial scales
  • Improvement of soil moisture input data and related fluxes for/in weather forecast models, e.g. the operational NWP model AROME of GeoSphere Austria
  • Improved representation of water fluxes from vegetation for/in weather forecast models
  • Improvement of products to access the current and near future soil moisture content (e.g. for seasonal drought forecasts)
  • Improved understanding of moisture fluxes in different soil types and for different topographic features
  • Further ideas welcome!