Submitted as: development and technical paper
30 May 2022
Submitted as: development and technical paper | 30 May 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Matrix representation of lateral soil movements: scaling and calibrating CE-DYNAM (v2) at a continental level

Arthur Nicolaus Fendrich1,2,3, Philippe Ciais2, Emanuele Lugato1, Marco Carozzi3, Bertrand Guenet4, Pasquale Borrelli5, Victoria Naipal4, Matthew McGrath2, Philippe Martin3, and Panos Panagos1 Arthur Nicolaus Fendrich et al.
  • 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Sustainable Resources Directorate, Via E. Fermi 2749, I-21027 Ispra, Italy
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ-UPSACLAY, Gif sur Yvette, France
  • 3INRAE, UMR 1048 SAD-APT, 16 rue Claude Bernard, 75231, Paris, France
  • 4LG-ENS (Laboratoire de géologie) - CNRS UMR 8538 - École normale supérieure, PSL University - IPSL, Paris, France
  • 5Department of Science, Roma Tre University, 00146 Rome, Italy

Abstract. Promoting sustainable soil management is a possible option for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the future. Several efforts in this area exist, and the application of spatially explicit models to anticipate the effect of possible actions on soils at a regional scale is widespread. Currently, models can simulate the impacts of changes on land cover, land management, and the climate on the soil carbon stocks. However, existing modeling tools do not incorporate the lateral transport and deposition of soil material, carbon and nutrients caused by soil erosion. The absence of these fluxes may lead to an oversimplified representation of the processes, which hinders, for example, a further understanding of how erosion has been affecting the soil carbon pools and nutrient through time. The sediment transport during deposition and the sediment loss to rivers create dependence among the simulation units, forming a cumulative effect through the territory. If, on the one hand, such a characteristic implies that calculations must be made for large geographic areas corresponding to hydrological units, on the other hand, it also can make models computationally expensive, given that erosion and redeposition processes must be modeled at high resolution and over long time scales. In this sense, the present work has a three-fold objective. First, we provide the development details to represent in matrix form a spatially explicit process-based model coupling sediment, carbon, and erosion, transport and deposition processes (ETD) of soil material in hillslopes and valley bottoms (i.e., the CE-DYNAM model). Second, we illustrate how the model can be calibrated and validated for Europe, where high-resolution datasets of the factors affecting erosion are available. Third, we presented the results for a depositional site, which is highly affected by incoming lateral fluxes from upstream lands. Our results showed that the benefits brought by the matrix approach to CE-DYNAM enabled the before precluded possibility of applying it to a continental scale. The calibration and validation procedures indicated: i) a close match between the erosion rates calculated and previous works on the literature at local and national scales; ii) the physical consistency of the parameters obtained from the data; and iii) the capacity of the model in predicting sediment discharge to rivers in locations observed and unobserved during its calibration (Model efficiency (ME) = 0.603, R2 = 0.666; and ME = 0.152, R2 = 0.438, respectively). The prediction of the carbon dynamics on a depositional site illustrated the model's ability to simulate the non-linear impact of ETD fluxes on the carbon cycle. We expect that our work advances ETD models' description and facilitates its reproduction and incorporation in land surface models such as ORCHIDEE and DayCent. We also hope that the patterns obtained in this work can guide future ETD models at a European scale.

Arthur Nicolaus Fendrich et al.

Status: open (until 25 Jul 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-121', Yuanyuan Huang, 20 Jun 2022 reply

Arthur Nicolaus Fendrich et al.

Model code and software

Source codes Fendrich et al.

Arthur Nicolaus Fendrich et al.


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Short summary
Currently, spatially explicit models for soil carbon stock can simulate the impacts of several changes. However, they do not incorporate the erosion, lateral transport and deposition (ETD) of soil material. The present work: i) developed ETD formulation; ii) illustrated model calibration and validation for Europe; iii) presented the results for a depositional site. We expect that our work advances ETD models' description and facilitates its reproduction and incorporation in land surface models.