Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 861–871, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-10-861-2006

Special issue: Thresholds and pattern dynamics: a new paradigm for predicting...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 861–871, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-10-861-2006

  16 Nov 2006

16 Nov 2006

Simplified stochastic soil-moisture models: a look at infiltration

J. R. Rigby and A. Porporato J. R. Rigby and A. Porporato
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Durham NC, USA

Abstract. A simplified, vertically-averaged model of soil moisture interpreted at the daily time scale and forced by a stochastic process of instantaneous rainfall events is compared with a vertically-averaged model which uses a non-overlapping rectangular pulse rainfall model and a more physically based description of infiltration. The models are compared with respect to the importance of short time-scale (intra-storm) variable infiltration in determining the probabilistic structure of soil-moisture dynamics at the daily time-scale. Differences in approach to infiltration modelling show only minor effects on the probabilistic structure of soil-moisture dynamics as simulated in the two models. The partitioning of losses during a single rainfall event are examined closely and the conditions under which surface-controlled runoff is significant, as a proportion of total losses, are delineated.