Subgrid spatial variability of soil hydraulic functions for hydrological modelling
Abstract. State-of-the-art hydrological applications require a process-based, spatially distributed hydrological model. Runoff characteristics are demanded to be well reproduced by the model. Despite that, the model should be able to describe the processes at a subcatchment scale in a physically credible way. The objective of this study is to present a robust procedure to generate various sets of parameterisations of soil hydraulic functions for the description of soil heterogeneity on a subgrid scale. Relations between Rosetta-generated values of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and van Genuchten's parameters of soil hydraulic functions were statistically analysed. An universal function that is valid for the complete bandwidth of Ks values could not be found. After concentrating on natural texture classes, strong correlations were identified for all parameters. The obtained regression results were used to parameterise sets of hydraulic functions for each soil class. The methodology presented in this study is applicable on a wide range of spatial scales and does not need input data from field studies. The developments were implemented into a hydrological modelling system.