The reduction of grain production caused by drought is one of the most serious problems caused by natural disasters. The relative soil moisture of farmland is the most important monitoring indicator for agricultural drought. This study investigated the relative soil moisture of farmland data from 38 agrometeorological stations in a continental river basin area in China from 1992 to 2012. Spatial and temporal variations of the relative soil moisture of farmland were studied using geostatistical analysis. The results show that, from 1992 to 2012, the average annual relative soil moisture of farmland in the continental river basin ranged from 62.5 to 86.1%, and the relative soil moisture of farmland was high in the marginal areas of basins and low in the central areas of basins and plateau areas. The relative soil moisture of farmland was high in the Tarim Basin and the Hexi Corridor, which are located in the northern Tianshan Mountains and the southern and northern Qilian Mountains, and was low from the northern Altun Mountains to the south of Lop Nor, the Turpan Depression, and the Tarbagatai Mountains. From 1992 to 2012, the annual average relative soil moisture of farmland in the continental river basins showed an increasing trend, with a growth rate of 0.57% yr−1
. The variation tendency of the relative soil moisture of farmland was different in different river basins; the relative soil moisture showed a decreasing trend in the Mongolian Plateau and an increasing trend in other basin areas. The relative soil moisture of farmland increased in summer, spring, and winter, and decreased in autumn. The change in relative soil moisture of farmland was due to a combination of climatic factors, such as precipitation and temperature, as well as topography and glacial meltwater.
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