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Infiltration from the pedon to global grid scales: an overview and outlook for land surface modelling

Vereecken, H., Weihermuller, L., Assouline, S., Šimůnek, J., Verhoef, A., Herbst, M., Archer, N. A. L., Mohanty, B., Montzka, C., Vanderborght, J., Balsamo, G., Bechtold, M., Boone, A., Chadburn, S., Cunz, M., Decharme, B., Ducharne, A., Ek, M., Garrigues, S., Goergen, K. , Joachim, I., Kollet, S., Lawrence, D., Li, Q., Or, D., Swenson, S., de Vrese, P., Walko, R., Wu, Y. and Xue, Y. (2019) Infiltration from the pedon to global grid scales: an overview and outlook for land surface modelling. Vadose Zone Journal. ISSN 1539-1663 (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

Infiltration in soils is a key process that partitions precipitation at the land surface in surface runoff and water that enters the soil profile. We reviewed the basic principles of water infiltration in soils and we analyzed approaches commonly used in Land Surface Models (LSMs) to quantify infiltration as well as its numerical implementation and sensitivity to model parameters. We reviewed methods to upscale infiltration from the point to the field, hill slope, and grid cell scale of LSMs. Despite the progress that has been made, upscaling of local scale infiltration processes to the grid scale used in LSMs is still far from being treated rigorously. We still lack a consistent theoretical framework to predict effective fluxes and parameters that control infiltration in LSMs. Our analysis shows, that there is a large variety in approaches used to estimate soil hydraulic properties. Novel, highly resolved soil information at higher resolutions than the grid scale of LSMs may help in better quantifying subgrid variability of key infiltration parameters. Currently, only a few land surface models consider the impact of soil structure on soil hydraulic properties. Finally, we identified several processes not yet considered in LSMs that are known to strongly influence infiltration. Especially, the impact of soil structure on infiltration requires further research. In order to tackle the above challenges and integrate current knowledge on soil processes affecting infiltration processes on land surface models, we advocate a stronger exchange and scientific interaction between the soil and the land surface modelling communities.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:82488
Publisher:American Society of Agronomy

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