Submitted as: model description paper 24 Jun 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 24 Jun 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Fluxes from Soil Moisture Measurements (FluSM v1.0). A Data-driven Water Balance Framework for Permeable Pavements

Axel Schaffitel1, Tobias Schuetz2, and Markus Weiler1 Axel Schaffitel et al.
  • 1Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Freiburg i. Br., 79098, Germany
  • 2Department of Hydrology, University of Trier, Germany

Abstract. Water fluxes at the soil-atmosphere interface are a key information for studying the terrestrial water cycle. However, measuring and modelling water fluxes in the vadose zone poses great challenges. While direct measurements require costly lysimeters, common soil hydrologic models rely on a correct parametrization, a correct representation of the involved processes and on the selection of correct initial and boundary conditions. In contrast to lysimeter measurements, soil moisture measurements are relatively cheap and easy to perform. Using such measurements, data-driven approaches offer the possibility to derive water fluxes directly. Here we present FluSM (Fluxes from Soil Moisture measurements), which is a simple, parsimonious and robust data-driven water balancing framework. FluSM requires only one single input parameter (the infiltration capacity) and is especially valuable for cases where the application of Richards based models is critical. Since Permeable Pavements (PPs) present such a case, we apply FluSM on a recently published soil moisture dataset to obtain the water balance of 15 different PPs over a period of two years. Consistent with findings from previous studies, our results show that vertical drainage dominates the water balance of PPs, while surface runoff plays only a minor role. An additional uncertainty analysis demonstrates the ability of the FluSM-approach for water balance studies, since input and parameter uncertainties have only small effects on the characteristics of the derived water balances. Due to the lack of data on the hydrologic behavior of PPs under field conditions, our results are of special interest for urban hydrology.

Axel Schaffitel et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Axel Schaffitel et al.

Axel Schaffitel et al.


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Short summary
This paper presents FluSM, an algorithm to derive the water balance from soil moisture and metrological measurements. This data-driven water balance framework uses soil moisture as an input and therefore is applicable for cases with unclear processes and lacking parameters. In a case study, we apply FluSM to derive the water balance of 15 different permeable pavements under field conditions. These findings are of special interest for urban hydrology.