18 May 2022
18 May 2022

Improvement of the soil drainage simulation based on observations from lysimeters

Antoine Sobaga1,2, Bertrand Decharme2, Florence Habets1, Christine Delire2, Noële Enjelvin3, Paul-Olivier Redon4, Pierre Faure-Catteloin5, and Patrick Le Moigne2 Antoine Sobaga et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Géologie - CNRS UMR 8538 - École Normale Supérieure - PSL University, IPSL, Paris, France
  • 2Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS UMR 3589, Toulouse, France
  • 3Laboratoire Sols et Environnement-GISFI, Université de Lorraine (UMR 1120), Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France
  • 4Andra, Direction RD, Centre de Meuse/Haute-Marne, 55290 Bure, France
  • 5Université de Lorraine, CNRS, LIEC, F-54000 Nancy, France

Abstract. Soil drainage is the main source of groundwater recharge and river flow. It is therefore a key process for water resource management. In this study, we evaluate the soil drainage simulated by the Interaction-Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere (ISBA) land surface model currently used for hydrological applications from the watershed scale to the global scale. This validation is done using seven lysimeters from two long term experiment sites measuring hourly water dynamics between 2009 and 2019 in northeastern France. These 2-meter deep lysimeters are filled with different soil types and are either maintained bare soil or covered with vegetation. The commonly used closed-form equations describing soil-water retention and conductivity curves from Brooks and Corey (1966) and van Genuchten (1980) are tested. The results indicate a good performance by the different experiments in terms of soil volumetric water content and water mass. The drained flow at the bottom of the lysimeter is well modeled using Brooks and Corey (1966) while some weaknesses appears with van Genuchten (1980) due to the complexity of its hydraulic conductivity function. Combining the soil-water curve of van Genuchten (1980) with the hydraulic conductivity function of Brooks and Corey (1966) allow to solve this problem and even to improve the simulation of the drainage dynamic, especially for intense drainage events. The study highlights the importance of the vertical heterogeneity of the soil hydrodynamic parameters to correctly simulate the drainage dynamic, as well as the primary influence of the n and b parameters which characterize the shape of the soil-water retention curve.

Antoine Sobaga et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-274', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Jun 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', antoine sobaga, 18 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-274', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', antoine sobaga, 18 Sep 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-274', Wolfgang Durner, 16 Aug 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', antoine sobaga, 18 Sep 2022

Antoine Sobaga et al.

Antoine Sobaga et al.


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Short summary
Seven instrumented lysimeters are used to assess the simulation of the soil water dynamic in one land surface model. Three water potential and hydraulic conductivity closed-form equations including one mixed form are evaluated. The mixed form is more relevant to simulate drainage especially during intense drainage events. Soil profile heterogeneity of one parameter of the closed-form equations is shown to be important.