Incorporation of water vapour transfer in the JULES Land Surface Model: implications for key soil variables and land surface fluxes
Garcia Gonzalez, R., Verhoef, A., Vidale, P. L. and Braud, I. (2012) Incorporation of water vapour transfer in the JULES Land Surface Model: implications for key soil variables and land surface fluxes. Water Resources Research, 48 (5). W05538. ISSN 0043-1397
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2011WR011811
This study focuses on the mechanisms underlying water and heat transfer in upper soil layers, and their effects on soil physical prognostic variables and the individual components of the energy balance. The skill of the JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator) land surface model (LSM) to simulate key soil variables, such as soil moisture content and surface temperature, and fluxes such as evaporation, is investigated. The Richards equation for soil water transfer, as used in most LSMs, was updated by incorporating isothermal and thermal water vapour transfer. The model was tested for three sites representative of semi-arid and temperate arid climates: the Jornada site (New Mexico, USA), Griffith site (Australia) and Audubon site (Arizona, USA). Water vapour flux was found to contribute significantly to the water and heat transfer in the upper soil layers. This was mainly due to isothermal vapour diffusion; thermal vapour flux also played a role at the Jornada site just after rainfall events. Inclusion of water vapour flux had an effect on the diurnal evolution of evaporation, soil moisture content and surface temperature. The incorporation of additional processes, such as water vapour flux among others, into LSMs may improve the coupling between the upper soil layers and the atmosphere, which in turn could increase the reliability of weather and climate predictions.