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Numerical modeling of coupled water flow and heat transport in soil and snow

Author(s):

Thijs J. Kelleners
Jeremy Koonce
Rose Shillito
Jelle Dijkema
Markus Berli
Michael H. Young

Year:

2016

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

Soil Science Society of America. 80: 247-263.

Description

A one-dimensional vertical numerical model for coupled water flow and heat transport in soil and snow was modified to include all three phases of water: vapor, liquid, and ice. The top boundary condition in the model is driven by incoming precipitation and the surface energy balance. The model was applied to three different terrestrial systems: A warm desert bare lysimeter soil in Boulder City, NV; a cool mixed-grass rangeland soil near Laramie, WY; and a snow-dominated mountainous forest soil about 50 km west of Laramie, WY. Comparison of measured and calculated soil water contents with depth yielded modeling efficiency (ME) values (maximum range: -∞< ME ≤ 1) of 0.32 ≤ ME ≤ 0.75 for the bare soil, 0.05 ≤ ME ≤ 0.30 for the rangeland soil, and 0.06 ≤ ME ≤ 0.37 for the forest soil. Results for soil temperature with depth were 0.87 ≤ ME ≤ 0.91 for the bare soil, 0.92 ≤ ME ≤ 0.94 for the rangeland soil, and 0.85 ≤ ME ≤ 0.88 for the forest soil. The model described the mass change in the bare soil lysimeter due to outgoing evaporation with moderate accuracy (ME = 0.41, based on 4 yr of data and using weekly evaporation rates). Snow height for the rangeland soil and the forest soil was captured reasonably well (ME = 0.57 for both sites based on 5 yr of data for each site). The model is physics based, with few empirical parameters, making it applicable to a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems.

Citation

Kelleners, Thijs J.; Koonce, Jeremy; Shillito, Rose; Dijkema, Jelle; Berli, Markus; Young, Michael H.; Frank, John M.; Massman, W. J. 2016. Numerical modeling of coupled water flow and heat transport in soil and snow. Soil Science Society of America. 80: 247-263.

Cited

Publication Notes

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/52331