On parameterization of heat conduction in coupled soil water and heat flow modelling

https://doi.org/10.17221/21/2012-SWRCitation:Votrubová J., Dohnal M., Vogel T., Tesař M. (2012): On parameterization of heat conduction in coupled soil water and heat flow modelling. Soil & Water Res., 7: 125-137.
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Soil water and heat transport plays an important role in various hydrologic, agricultural, and industrial applications. Accordingly, an increasing attention is paid to relevant simulation models. In the present study, soil thermal conditions at a mountain meadow during the vegetation season were simulated. A dual-continuum model of coupled water and heat transport was employed to account for preferential flow effects. Data collected at an experimental site in the Šumava Mountains, southern Bohemia, during the vegetation season 2009 were employed. Soil hydraulic properties (retention curve and hydraulic conductivity) determined by independent soil tests were used. Unavailable hydraulic parameters were adjusted to obtain satisfactory hydraulic model performance. Soil thermal properties were estimated based on values found in literature without further optimization. Three different approaches were used to approximate the soil thermal conductivity function, λ(θ): (i) relationships provided by Chung and Horton (ii) linear estimates as described by Loukili, Woodbury and Snelgrove, (iii) methodology proposed by Côté and Konrad. The simulated thermal conditions were compared to those observed. The impact of different soil thermal conductivity approximations on the heat transport simulation results was analysed. The differences between the simulation results in terms of the soil temperature were small. Regarding the surface soil heat flux, these differences became substantial. More realistic simulations were obtained using λ(θ) estimates based on the soil texture and composition. The differences between these two, related to neglecting vs. considering λ(θ) non-linearity, were found negligible.
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