A gridded global data set of soil, intact regolith, and sedimentary deposit thicknesses for regional and global land surface modeling

Jon D. Pelletier, Patrick D. Broxton, Pieter Hazenberg, Xubin Zeng, Peter A. Troch, Guo Yue Niu, Zachary Williams, Michael A. Brunke, David Gochis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Earth's terrestrial near-subsurface environment can be divided into relatively porous layers of soil, intact regolith, and sedimentary deposits above unweathered bedrock. Variations in the thicknesses of these layers control the hydrologic and biogeochemical responses of landscapes. Currently, Earth System Models approximate the thickness of these relatively permeable layers above bedrock as uniform globally, despite the fact that their thicknesses vary systematically with topography, climate, and geology. To meet the need for more realistic input data for models, we developed a high-resolution gridded global data set of the average thicknesses of soil, intact regolith, and sedimentary deposits within each 30 arcsec (∼1 km) pixel using the best available data for topography, climate, and geology as input. Our data set partitions the global land surface into upland hillslope, upland valley bottom, and lowland landscape components and uses models optimized for each landform type to estimate the thicknesses of each subsurface layer. On hillslopes, the data set is calibrated and validated using independent data sets of measured soil thicknesses from the U.S. and Europe and on lowlands using depth to bedrock observations from groundwater wells in the U.S. We anticipate that the data set will prove useful as an input to regional and global hydrological and ecosystems models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-65
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Earth System Modeling
  • digital data sets
  • soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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