Non-uniqueness of evapotranspiration due to spatial heterogeneity of plant species

Jan Martin Nordbotten, Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, Michael Anthony Celia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Spatially averaged soil moisture dynamics are studied under seasonally fixed conditions. We consider rainfall as a marked Poisson process, uniformly covering a spatial domain consisting of multiple plant types. Each plant type is considered to have different characteristics in terms of evapotranspiration functions, root-zone depth and rainfall interception. Equations for the evolution of joint probability density functions for individual soil moistures associated with different plant types are developed, and the non-uniqueness of the spatially averaged evapotranspiration function as a function of the average soil moisture is demonstrated and quantified in an example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2359-2371
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2072
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Non-uniqueness
  • Soil moisture
  • Stochastic models in hydrology
  • Upscaling


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