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Volume 22, issue 7 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3639-3662, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Jul 2018

Research article | 06 Jul 2018

Ecohydrological particle model based on representative domains

Conrad Jackisch and Erwin Zehe Conrad Jackisch and Erwin Zehe
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT, Institute of Water Resources and River Basin Management, Chair of Hydrology, Kaiserstr. 12, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Non-uniform infiltration and subsurface flow in structured soils is observed in most natural settings. It arises from imperfect lateral mixing of fast advective flow in structures and diffusive flow in the soil matrix and remains one of the most challenging topics with respect to match observation and modelling of water and solutes at the plot scale.

This study extends the fundamental introduction of a space domain random walk of water particles as an alternative approach to the Richards equation for diffusive flow (Zehe and Jackisch 2016) to a stochastic–physical model framework simulating soil water flow in a representative, structured soil domain. The central objective of the proposed model is the simulation of non-uniform flow fingerprints in different ecohydrological settings and antecedent states by making maximum use of field observables for parameterisation. Avoiding non-observable parameters for macropore–matrix exchange, an energy-balance approach to govern film flow in representative flow paths is employed. We present the echoRD model (ecohydrological particle model based on representative domains) and a series of application test cases.

The model proves to be a powerful alternative to existing dual-domain models, driven by experimental data and with self-controlled, dynamic macropore–matrix exchange from the topologically semi-explicitly defined structures.

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Short summary
We present a Lagrangian model for non-uniform soil water dynamics. It handles 2-D diffusion (based on a spatial random walk and implicit pore space redistribution) and 1-D advection in representative macropores (as film flow with dynamic interaction with the soil matrix). The interplay between the domains is calculated based on an energy-balance approach which does not require any additional parameterisation. Model tests give insight into the evolution of the non-uniform infiltration patterns.
We present a Lagrangian model for non-uniform soil water dynamics. It handles 2-D diffusion...