Exploring the Influence of Topography on Belowground C Processes Using a Coupled Hydrologic-Biogeochemical Model

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Yuning Shi1, Kenneth J Davis1,2, David M Eissenstat3, Jason P Kaye3, Christopher Duffy4, Xuan Yu5 and Yuting He2, (1)The Pennsylvania State University, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, University Park, PA, United States, (2)The Pennsylvania State Unviersity, Department of Meteorology, University Park, PA, United States, (3)The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, University Park, PA, United States, (4)The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University Park, PA, United States, (5)The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, University Park, PA, United States
Belowground carbon processes are affected by soil moisture and soil temperature, but current biogeochemical models are 1-D and cannot resolve topographically driven hill-slope soil moisture patterns, and cannot simulate the nonlinear effects of soil moisture on carbon processes. Coupling spatially-distributed physically-based hydrologic models with biogeochemical models may yield significant improvements in the representation of topographic influence on belowground C processes.

We will couple the Flux-PIHM model to the Biome-BGC (BBGC) model. Flux-PIHM is a coupled physically-based land surface hydrologic model, which incorporates a land-surface scheme into the Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Model (PIHM). The land surface scheme is adapted from the Noah land surface model. Because PIHM is capable of simulating lateral water flow and deep groundwater, Flux-PIHM is able to represent the link between groundwater and the surface energy balance, as well as the land surface heterogeneities caused by topography.

The coupled Flux-PIHM-BBGC model will be tested at the Susquehanna/Shale Hills critical zone observatory (SSHCZO). The abundant observations, including eddy covariance fluxes, soil moisture, groundwater level, sap flux, stream discharge, litterfall, leaf area index, above ground carbon stock, and soil carbon efflux, make SSHCZO an ideal test bed for the coupled model. In the coupled model, each Flux-PIHM model grid will couple a BBGC cell. Flux-PIHM will provide BBGC with soil moisture and soil temperature information, while BBGC provides Flux-PIHM with leaf area index. Preliminary results show that when Biome- BGC is driven by PIHM simulated soil moisture pattern, the simulated soil carbon is clearly impacted by topography.