Improved calibration of the Green-Ampt infiltration module in the EROSION-2D/3D model using a rainfall-runoff experiment database.

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From: Soil(Vol. 7, Issue 1)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 369 words

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Abstract :

Soil infiltration is one of the key factors that has an influence on soil erosion caused by rainfall. Therefore, a well-represented infiltration process is a necessary precondition for successful soil erosion modelling. Complex natural conditions do not allow the full mathematical description of the infiltration process, and additional calibration parameters are required. The Green-Ampt-based infiltration module in the EROSION-2D/3D model introduces a calibration parameter "skinfactor" to adjust saturated hydraulic conductivity. Previous studies provide skinfactor values for several combinations of soil and vegetation conditions. However, their accuracies are questionable, and estimating the skinfactors for other than the measured conditions yields significant uncertainties in the model results. This study brings together an extensive database of rainfall simulation experiments, the state-of-the-art model parametrisation method and linear mixed-effect models to statistically analyse relationships between soil and vegetation conditions and the model calibration parameter skinfactor. New empirically based transfer functions for skinfactor estimation significantly improving the accuracy of the infiltration module and thus the overall EROSION-2D/3D model performance are provided in this study. Soil moisture and bulk density were identified as the most significant predictors explaining 82 % of the skinfactor variability, followed by the soil texture, vegetation cover and impact of previous rainfall events. The median absolute percentage error of the skinfactor prediction was improved from 71 % using the currently available method to 30 %-34 % using the presented transfer functions, which led to significant decrease in error propagation into the model results compared to the present method. The strong logarithmic relationship observed between the calibration parameter and soil moisture however indicates high overestimation of infiltration for dry soils by the algorithms implemented in EROSION-2D/3D and puts the state-of-the-art parametrisation method in question. An alternative parameter optimisation method including calibration of two Green-Ampt parameters' saturated hydraulic conductivity and water potential at the wetting front was tested and compared with the state-of-the-art method, which paves a new direction for future EROSION-2D/3D model parametrisation.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A665519753