Improvement of the soil drainage simulation based on observations from lysimeters
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.
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