The impact of non-isothermal soil moisture transport on evaporation fluxes in a maize cropland

Wei Shao, Miriam Coenders-Gerrits, Jasmeet Judge, Yijian Zeng, Ye Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The process of evaporation interacts with the soil, which has various comprehensive mechanisms. Multiphase flow models solve air, vapour, water, and heat transport equations to simulate non-isothermal soil moisture transport of both liquid water and vapor flow, but are only applied in non-vegetated soils. For (sparsely) vegetated soils often energy balance models are used, however these lack the detailed information on non-isothermal soil moisture transport. In this study we coupled a multiphase flow model with a two-layer energy balance model to study the impact of non-isothermal soil moisture transport on evaporation fluxes (i.e., interception, transpiration, and soil evaporation) for vegetated soils. The proposed model was implemented at an experimental agricultural site in Florida, US, covering an entire maize-growing season (67 days). As the crops grew, transpiration and interception became gradually dominated, while the fraction of soil evaporation dropped from 100% to less than 20%. The mechanisms of soil evaporation vary depending on the soil moisture content. After precipitation the soil moisture content increased, exfiltration of the liquid water flow could transport sufficient water to sustain evaporation from soil, and the soil vapor transport was not significant. However, after a sufficient dry-down period, the soil moisture content significantly reduced, and the soil vapour flow significantly contributed to the upward moisture transport in topmost soil. A sensitivity analysis found that the simulations of moisture content and temperature at the soil surface varied substantially when including the advective (i.e., advection and mechanical dispersion) vapour transport in simulation, including the mechanism of advective vapour transport decreased soil evaporation rate under wet condition, while vice versa under dry condition. The results showed that the formulation of advective soil vapor transport in a soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer continuum can affect the simulated evaporation fluxes, especially under dry condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-847
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume561
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Evaporation partitioning
  • Non-isothermal moisture transport
  • Soil moisture and temperature dynamics
  • Soil vapour flow
  • Soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer model

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