Scientific discovery through computational hydrology : Elucidating connections between groundwater flow and transpiration partitioning

Séminaire de Reed Maxwell, jeudi 8 juin 2017 à 10 h, salle 105, OSUG-B

Abstract : Understanding freshwater fluxes at continental scales will help us better predict hydrologic response and manage our terrestrial water resources. For example, better understanding partitioning of evapotranspiration into bare soil evaporation and plant transpiration, the role of warming on snowmelt dominated headwaters catchments, and the response to the residence time of water from geology and climate are examples of key questions in the terrestrial water cycle. Computational Hydrology is an additional tool to study interactions water fluxes and stores across the critical zone. We used integrated hydrologic simulations that couple vegetation and land energy processes with surface and subsurface hydrology to advance these topics with a focus on transpiration partitioning at the continental scale. These high resolution, transient simulations encompass the major watersheds of the United States and demonstrate great complexity in hydrologic and land energy states. Results demonstrate a novel connection between lateral groundwater flow and terrestrial water budgets. This work reconciles systematic differences between global observations and global land surface models. This suggests that lateral groundwater flow, which is generally simplified or excluded in earth system models, may provide a missing link to reconciling observations and global models of terrestrial water fluxes.

Reed Maxwell
Rowlinson Professor of Hydrology
Colorado School of Mines

Séminaire animé par Jean-Martial Cohard