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Evaluation of soil moisture in relation to climate variability across Umudike, South eastern Nigeria

International Journal of Hydrology
Onwuka BM,1 Nwagbara MO,1 Oguike PC2


The evaluation of soil moisture in relation to climate variability was carried out in Umudike,
Abia state. The objective of the study was to evaluate the relationship between soil moisture
and climatic parameters in Umudike. Moisture content (MC) was calculated using the
gravimetric method. Daily meteorological data used for this study were obtained from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Centre for Environmental
Prediction (NOAA/NCEP) under the National Weather Service, United States of America.
The data were transformed subjected to regression analysis which was used to compare
the influence of climate variables on the measured soil heat transfer over a period of
time. Relative humility showed about 86.31% control over the variations of soil moisture
which means it has a strong, positive influence on the variation of soil moisture content.
Rainfall exhibited a significant positive impact, with approximately 69.04% control over
soil moisture variations, indicating that increased rainfall leads to higher soil moisture
levels. Sunlight duration played a vital role, showing a 57.43% influence in reducing soil
moisture content as sunlight duration increased. In contrast, wind speed had 1.01% which
is a very weak negative impact, with little to no significant effect on soil moisture content.
These results provide an understanding of the interplay between climatic variables and soil
moisture, offering valuable insights for environmental and agricultural practices. The study
recommends encouraging sustainable land use and conservation practices, like mulching
and organic manure application, can help mitigate soil moisture loss. Diversifying crops to
include those less sensitive to soil moisture variations can enhance resilience.


soil moisture, climate variations, regression analysis, hydrology