Articles | Volume 27, issue 14
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-27-2607-2023
Special issue:
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-27-2607-2023
Opinion article
 | 
18 Jul 2023
Opinion article |  | 18 Jul 2023

HESS Opinions: Are soils overrated in hydrology?

Hongkai Gao, Fabrizio Fenicia, and Hubert H. G. Savenije

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Latest update: 14 Jun 2024
Short summary
It is a deeply rooted perception that soil is key in hydrology. In this paper, we argue that it is the ecosystem, not the soil, that is in control of hydrology. Firstly, in nature, the dominant flow mechanism is preferential, which is not particularly related to soil properties. Secondly, the ecosystem, not the soil, determines the land–surface water balance and hydrological processes. Moving from a soil- to ecosystem-centred perspective allows more realistic and simpler hydrological models.
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