Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
31 Mar 1998
31 Mar 1998

Spatial and temporal predictions of soil moisture patterns and evaporative losses using TOPMODEL and the GASFLUX model for an Alaskan catchment

P. F. Quinn, B. Ostendorf, K. Beven, and J. Tenhunen

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.