Abstract

Vapor movement is often an important part in the total water flux in the vadose zone of arid or semiarid regions because the soil moisture is relatively low. The two major objectives of this study were to develop a numerical model in the HYDRUS-1D code that (i) solves the coupled equations governing liquid water, water vapor, and heat transport, together with the surface water and energy balance, and (ii) provides flexibility in accommodating various types of meteorological information to solve the surface energy balance. The code considers the movement of liquid water and water vapor in the subsurface to be driven by both pressure head and temperature gradients. The heat transport module considers movement of soil heat by conduction, convection of sensible heat by liquid water flow, transfer of latent heat by diffusion of water vapor, and transfer of sensible heat by diffusion of water vapor. The modifications allow a very flexible way of using various types of meteorological information at the soil–atmosphere interface for evaluating the surface water and energy balance. The coupled model was evaluated using field soil temperature and water content data collected at a field site. We demonstrate the use of standard daily meteorological variables in generating diurnal changes in these variables and their subsequent use for calculating continuous changes in water contents and temperatures in the soil profile. Simulated temperatures and water contents were in good agreement with measured values. Analyses of the distributions of the liquid and vapor fluxes vs. depth showed that soil water dynamics are strongly associated with the soil temperature regime.

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