Articles | Volume 1, issue 2
30 Jun 1997
30 Jun 1997

The accuracy of simple soil water models in climate forecasting

E. M. Blyth and C. C. Daamen

Abstract. Several simple soil water models with four layers or less, typical of those used in GCMS, are compared to a complex multilayered model. They are tested by applying a repeating wetting/drying cycle at different frequencies, and run to equilibrium. The ability of the simple soil models to reproduce the results of the multilayer model vary according to the frequency of the forcing cycle, the soil type, the number of layers and the depth of the top layer of the model. The best overall performance was from the four layer model. The two layer model with a thin top layer (0.1 m) modelled sandy soils well while the two layer model with a thick top layer (0.5 m) modelled clay soils well. The model with just one layer overestimated evaporation during long drying periods for all soil types.