Spatial and temporal predictions of soil moisture patterns and evaporative losses using TOPMODEL and the GASFLUX model for an Alaskan catchment
- 1Water Resource Systems Research Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK.
- 2European Academy Balzona/Bozen, Department of Alpine Environment, Domplatz 3, I–39100, Bozen, Italy.
- 3Centre for Research on Environmental Systems, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, UK.
- 4Department of Plant Ecology, BITOK, University of Beyreuth, D–95440, Beyreuth, Germany.
Abstract. By using topographic indices as derived from a Digital Terrain Models (DTM), it is possible to represent the heterogeneity within a landscape. This heterogeneity can reflect both long term evolutionary patterns seen in a landscape and the short term forcing of flow dynamics during storm events. By spatial analysis, the linkage between the geomorphological- hydrological-plant physiological phenomena can be examined. In this study, a direct link will be established between the topographically-driven hydrological phenomena and the eco-physiological response. The topographic distribution function of TOPMODEL is used to control the spatial and temporal flux of the channel flow and water table. The plant physiological model GAS-FLUX is used to give a spatially and temporally dissaggregated species-sensitive estimate of evapotranspiration flux. Evapotranspiration is sensitive to the vegetation phonology, to tundra community physiology and to the temperature regime. A simple linking of TOPMODEL and the GAS-FLUX model is applied to a summer snow-free period to the Imnavait catchment, Alaska (2.2 km2). A species-sensitive evapotranspiration model proved to give the highest quality results when validated against flow observations. Predicted dynamics of variable source area and the component hydrological processes are illustrated.