Submitted as: model description paper 01 Oct 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 01 Oct 2021

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

Supporting hierarchical soil biogeochemical modeling: Version 2 of the Biogeochemical Transport and Reaction model (BeTR-v2)

Jinyun Tang, William J. Riley, and Qing Zhu Jinyun Tang et al.
  • Climate and Ecosystem Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

Abstract. Reliable soil biogeochemical modeling is a prerequisite for credible projections of climate change and associated ecosystem feedbacks. This recognition has called for frameworks that can support flexible and efficient development and application of new or alternative soil biogeochemical modules in earth system models (ESMs). The BeTR-v1 code (i.e., CLM4-BeTR) is one such framework designed to accelerate the development and integration of new soil biogeochemistry formulations into ESMs, and to analyze structural uncertainty in ESM simulations. With a generic reactive transport capability, BeTR-v1 can represent multi-phase (e.g., gaseous, aqueous, and solid), multi-tracer (e.g., nitrate and organic carbon), and multi-organism (e.g., plants, bacteria and fungi) dynamics. Here, we describe the new version BeTR-v2, which adopts more robust numerical algorithms and improves on structural design over BeTR-v1. BeTR-v2 better supports different mathematical formulations in a hierarchical manner by allowing the resultant model be run either for a single topsoil layer, a vertically resolved soil column, or fully coupled with the land component of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM). We demonstrate the BeTR-v2 capability with benchmark cases and example soil BGC implementations. By taking advantage of BeTR-v2’s generic structure integrated in E3SM, we then found that calibration could not resolve biases introduced by different numerical coupling strategies of plant-soil biogeochemistry. These results highlight the importance of numerically robust implementation of soil biogeochemistry and coupling with hydrology, thermal dynamics, and plants— capabilities that the open-source BeTR-v2 provides.

Jinyun Tang et al.

Status: open (until 27 Nov 2021)

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Jinyun Tang et al.

Jinyun Tang et al.


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Short summary
We here describe the version 2 of BeTR, a reactive transport model to help ease the development of biogeochemical capability in earth system models that are used for quantifying ecosystem-climate feedbacks. We then coupled BeTR-v2 to the Energy Exascale Earth system model to quantify how different numerical coupling of plant-and-soil affect simulated ecosystem biogeochemistry. We found that different couplings lead to significant uncertainty not correctable by tuning parameters.