Evapotranspiration and near-surface soil moisture dynamics are key-entangled variables regulating flux at the surface-atmosphere interface. Both are central in improving mass and energy balances in agro ecosystems. However, under the extreme conditions of high-latitude soils and weather pattern variability, the implementation of such coupled liquid and vapor phase numerical simulation remain to be tested. We consider the nonisothermal solution of the vapor flux equation that accounts for the thermally driven water vapor transport and phase changes. Fully coupled flux model outputs are compared and contrasted against field measurements of soil temperature, heat flux, water content, and evaporation in a subarctic agroecosystem in Alaska. Two well-defined hydro-meteorological situations were selected: dry and wet periods. Numerical simulation was forced by time series of incoming global solar radiation and atmospheric surface layer thermodynamic parameters: surface wind speed, ambient temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and soil temperature and soil moisture. In this simulation, soil parameters changing in depth and time are considered as dynamically adjusted boundary conditions for solving the set of coupled differential equations. Results from this evaluation give good correlation of modeled and observed data in net radiation (Rnet) (R2 of 0.92, root mean square error (RMSE) of 45 W m−2), latent heat (0.70, RMSE of 53 W m−2), and sensible heat (R2 = 0.63, RMSE = 32 W m−2) during the dry period. On the other hand, a poor agreement was obtained in the radiative fluxes and turbulent fluxes during the wet period due to the lack of representation in the radiation field and differences in soil dynamics across the landscape.
Part of the book: Current Perspective to Predict Actual Evapotranspiration