Water and Vapor Transfer in Vadose Zone of Gobi Desert and Riparian in the Hyper Arid Environment of Ejina, China

Friday, 19 December 2014
Chaoyang Du1,2, Jingjie Yu1 and Ping Wang1,3, (1)IGSNRR Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing, China, (2)University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing,, China, (3)University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States
To reveal how water and vapor transfer in vadose zone affect evapotranspiration in Gobi desert and riparian in hyper arid region is important for understanding eco-hydrological process. Field studies and numerical simulations were imported to evaluate the water and vapor movement processes under non isothermal and lower water content conditions. The soil profiles (12 layers) in Gobi desert and riparian sites of Ejina were installed with sensors to monitor soil moisture and temperature for 1 year. The meteorological conditions and water table were measured by micro weather stations and mini-Divers respectively in the two sites. Soil properties, including particles composition, moisture, bulk density, water retention curve, and saturated hydraulic conductivity of two site soil profiles, was measured. The observations showed that soil temperatures for the two sites displayed large diurnal and seasonal fluctuations. Temperature gradients with depth resulted in a downward in summer and upward in winter and became driving force for thermal vapor movement. Soil moistures in Gobi desert site were very low and varied slowly with time. While the soil moistures in riparian site were complicated due to root distribution but water potentials remained uniform with time. The hydrus-1D was employed to simulate evapotranspiration processes. The simulation results showed the significant difference of evaporation rate in the Gobi desert and riparian sites.