Hydraulics/Hydrology CE Seminar Series
Scaling of Surface Soil Moisture over Heterogeneous Fields Subjected to a Single Rainfall Event
Determining surface soil moisture evolution at a range of scales remains a challenge because of multi-scale heterogeneity exhibited by soils. Surface soil moisture evolution for heterogeneous fields subjected to rainfall conditions is typically achieved by a computationally intensive numerical solution of the Richards equation. Moreover, measurement techniques are not in accordance with the scales at which information on soil moisture is desired. In this study, reference scaling curves are developed based on a sharp front approximation to describe surface soil moisture evolution. These scaling curves may be used to determine the surface soil moisture profile at any unmeasured location in the field, and allow for efficient computation of the field-scale surface moisture evolution for a single rainfall event by assuming a log-normal distribution of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity. Comparisons with Monte Carlo-based numerical simulation results show that the proposed scaling curves hold promise in describing mean surface soil moisture evolution at field scales.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013