Analysis of soil hydraulic and thermal properties for land surface modelling over the Tibetan Plateau

Soil hydraulic and thermal properties at different depths across the three climate zones (i.e., arid of Ngari region, semi-arid of Naqu region and subhumid of Maqu region) on the Tibetan Plateau.

Tibetan Plateau,soil,hydraulic and thermal properties,land surface modelling
:Bob Su :Hengelosestraat 99, 7514 AE, Enschede

Data content: Soil hydraulic and thermal properties at different depths across the three climate zones on the Tibetan Plateau.

File name: SoilPhysicalPropertiesDataMeasuredIn2016OverTP

Six files: 

(1) TP_samples_LatLonEleLC.kmz, the distribution of sampling points on the google earth. 

(2) SoilPhysicalPropertiesDataMeasuredIn2016OverTP_RawData.xlsx, the metadata of soil physical properties dataset. This file involves five sheets: 1) Site_location: contains the location of sites where soil samplings were taken. 2) Soil_basic_properties: contains the dataset of fine soil texture fraction, soil texture type based on USDA soil classification, gravimetric fine fraction, gravimetric gravel content, soil organic carbon matter content, bulk density, porosity, field saturated hydraulic conductivities. 3) Soil_water_retention_curve: contains plate pressure (kPa) with volume soil moisture (cm3 cm-3). 4) Soil_thermal_conductivity: contains thermal conductivity (W m-1 K-1) with volume soil content (cm3 cm-3).5) Soil_heat_capacity: contains soil heat capacity(MJ m-1 K-1) with volume soil content (cm3 cm-3).

(3) SoilPhysicalPropertiesDataMeasuredIn2016OverTP.xlsx,mean values of soil physical properties. This file involves four sheets: 1) Max_min_Basic_soil_properties: contains the minimum, mean and maximum values of basic soil property (e.g. soil texture, bulk density, etc.) profiles over the three climate zones. 2) Mean_Soil_thermal_properties: contains the mean profile of soil thermal conductivity(W m-1 K-1) and heat capacity(MJ m-1 K-1) with varying soil water content (cm3 cm-3) over the three climate zones. 3) Mean_Soil_hydraulic_properties: contains the mean profile of plate pressure (kPa) with volumetric moisture content (cm3 cm-3) over the three climate zones; 4) Porosity_GGF_Ks: contains porosity, gravel content and saturared hydraulic conductivity data of each sites over the three climate zones. The geogrphic locations of these sites are also included.

(4) Existing_soil_dataset_linkage.txt.

(5) README.txt.

(6) SoilPhysicalPropertiesMeasurementProtocal.docx.

Purpose: Contribute to land surface modeling and hydro-climatology communities for their studies of the third pole environment, such as soil hydraulic and thermal properties parameterization optimization and thus a good soil moisture simulation for deep understanding on land- surface interactions under the climate change. Contribute to soil community in terms of filling geographic gaps of the published existing global soil databases.

Objective: Who carry on research and studies on soil science, land surface water and heat flux exchange, soil moisture retrieval using microwave remote sensing. 

Time range: Soils were sampled in August 2016.8, and laboratory experiment was taken in September 2016 to January 2017.

Spatial range: Soil sampling was based on the Tibetan Plateau observatory stations of plateau-scale soil moisture and soil temperature (Tibet-Obs) (Su et al., 2011). The geographic project was based on WGS-84.The specific values of latitude, longitude and elevation were in TP_samples_LatLonEleLC.kmz.

Data format: Attribute data.

Subject: Soil science and hydrology.

Soil physical properties involve the fields in below:

Field1: Site,data type:char

Field2:Depth,data type:float,unit:cm.

Field3:Clay,data type:float,unit:%.

Field4:Silt,data type:float,unit:%.

Field5:Sand,data type:float,unit:%.

Field6:SoilTextureClass,data type:char,unit:none.

Field7:GGF,data type:float,unit:%.

Field8:GFF,data type:float,unit:%.

Field9:BulkDensity,data type:float,unit:g/cm3.

Field10:Porosity,data type:float, unit:%.

Field11:SoilOgranicMatter,data type:float, unit:%.

Field12:Ks,data type:float, unit:m/s.

Field13:GD,data type:float, unit:%.

Field14:FD,data type:float, unit:%.

Field15:SM,data type:float, unit:cm3 cm-3.

Field16:λ,data type:float, unit:W m-1 K-1.

Field17:Pressure,data type:float, unit:kPa.

Field18:Cs,data type:float, unit:MJ m-1 K-1

These collated raw data included error-checking for possible inconsistencies. Furthermore, the values of the measured soil properties and SHP and STP were compared to those available in the literature to cross-check whether they were within a reasonable range.

The in situ measurement of soil (hydraulic and thermal) property profiles were taken across the three climate zones (arid, semi-arid & semi-humid) over the Tibetan Plateau. In each climate zone, 

1) the soil was sampled (c.a. 200 g) with a plastic bag used to measure gravel content, soil texture and soil organic content; 

2) the soil was sampled with standard sample rings (5cm in height, 100 cm3 in volume) for the determination of bulk density, porosity and thermal conductivity; 

3) for deriving the Soil Water Retention Curve (SWRC), a dedicated small sample ring (1 cm in height, 20 cm3 in volume) was used; 4) the in situ Ks was measured using the Aardvark permeameter, a fully automated constant-head borehole permeameter. 

Using these samples, the laboratory analyses were carried out with reference to standard methods. Instruments for laboratory experiment: Malvern Mastersizer 2000 particle size analyzer(;Total Organic Content analytical instrument of Multi N/C 3100 (;The KD2Pro thermal property analyzer connected to SH-1 sensor(; DIK-3404 WIDE RANGE pF METER( 15 BAR CERAMIC PLATE EXTRACTOR( The specific operation was described in SoilPhysicalPropertiesMeasurementProtocal.docx.

The data recorded in the paper was carefully re-recorded in the computer. 

Soil sampling and laboratory experiment strictly follow the regulations of standards. The paper about this dataset was published. The wrong data was excluded.

Soil sampling, laboratory experiment and values comparision to those available in the literature to cross-check. Based on this dataset, the applicability of five existing regional and global soil datasets over the TP was evaluated.

The whole method strictly follow the regulations of standards (Carter, M.R. and Gregorich, E.G. eds., 2008. Soil sampling and methods of analysis), and therein soil texture classification was based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standard. 

This soil dataset has supported one of our team member to develop the frozen soil module for STEMMUS (Simultaneous Transfer of Energy, Momentum and Mass in Unsaturated Soils), which has reproduced the soil hydrothermal dynamics over TP (Yu et al. 2018, under review). The other usage of this dataset is to estimate the penetration depth of microwave radiometry (Lv et al., 2018). Furthermore, our in situ collected dataset has been incorporated into the Soil Water Infiltration Global Database (Rahmati et al. 2018, ESSD).

The use of this data is limited to scientific research. If you use the data to publish academic papers, please send a copy of the paper to the data provider. Recommended Citation:

Zhao H, Zeng Y, Lv S, Su Z. Analysis of soil hydraulic and thermal properties for land surface modeling over the Tibetan Plateau. Earth System Science Data. 2018 Jul 1;10(2):1031.

Zhao, H. (Hong); Zeng, Y. (Yijian); Su, Z. (Bob) (2018) Soil Hydraulic and Thermal Properties for Land Surface Modelling over the Tibetan Plateau. University of Twente. Dataset.

Contact: Bob Su;Yijian Zeng;Hong Zhao


Soil physical properties data measured in 2016 over TP