Reconstruction of soil thermal field from a single depth measurement

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21 Scopus citations


Soil field experiments usually consist of measurements of soil temperatures, heat fluxes and soil water contents. Accurate determination of the soil thermal field, in particular, prediction of the soil surface temperature and the ground heat, contains the signature to the surface energy partitioning, and is therefore critical to the surface energy balance closure problem. In this paper, we develop a numerical procedure to reconstruct the entire soil thermal field from a single depth measurement of either temperature or heat flux. The new algorithm is based on Green's function approach by using the fundamental solution of heat conduction in semi-infinite soils and Duhamel's integral for incorporation of general boundary conditions. It is highlighted that the new approach is capable of accurately reproducing results of some existing numerical approaches, with a more general setting and treatment of the heat diffusion problem, and hence provides a possible unified framework for the estimation of thermal field in soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hydrology
StatePublished - Sep 25 2012


  • Duhamel's principle
  • Green's function approach
  • Heat conduction
  • Soil thermal field
  • Soil water content
  • Surface energy balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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