Assessment of drought vulnerability based on the soil moisture PDF

Chulsang Yoo, Sangdan Kim, Tae Woong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the statistics of the soil moisture condition and its monthly variation for the purpose of evaluating drought vulnerability. A zero-dimensional soil moisture dynamics model with the rainfall forcing by the rectangular pulses Poisson process model are used to simulate the soil moisture time series for three sites in Korea: Seoul, Daegu, and Jeonju. These sites are located in the central, south-eastern, and south-western parts of the Korean Peninsular, respectively. The model parameters are estimated on a monthly basis using hourly rainfall data and monthly potential evaporation rates obtained by the Penmann method. The resulting soil moisture simulations are summarized on a monthly basis. In brief, the conclusions of our study are as follows. (1) Strong seasonality is observed in the simulations of soil moisture. The soil moisture mean is less than 0.5 during the dry spring season (March, April, and June), but other months exceed the 0.5 value. (2) The spring season is characterized by a low mean value, a high standard deviation and a positive skewness of the soil moisture content. On the other hand, the wet season is characterized by a high mean value, low standard deviation, and negative skewness of the soil moisture content. Thus, in the spring season, much drier soil moisture conditions are apparent due to the higher variability and positive skewness of the soil moisture probability density function (PDF), which also indicates more vulnerability to severe drought occurrence. (3) Seoul, Daegue, and Jeonju show very similar overall trends of soil moisture variation; however, Daegue shows the least soil moisture contents all through the year, which implies that the south-eastern part of the Korean Peninsula is most vulnerable to drought. On the other hand, the central part and the south-western part of the Korean peninsula are found to be less vulnerable to the risk of drought. The conclusions of the study are in agreement with the climatology of the Korean Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec


  • Drought
  • PDF
  • Seasonality
  • Soil moisture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of drought vulnerability based on the soil moisture PDF'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this