Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
11 Oct 2021
Research article | 11 Oct 2021
A hybrid data–model approach to map soil thickness in mountain hillslopes
Qina Yan et al.
No articles found.
Katrina E. Bennett, Greta Miller, Robert Busey, Min Chen, Emma R. Lathrop, Julian B. Dann, Mara Nutt, Ryan Crumley, Shannon L. Dillard, Baptiste Dafflon, Jitendra Kumar, W. Robert Bolton, Cathy J. Wilson, Colleen M. Iversen, and Stan D. Wullschleger
The Cryosphere, 16, 3269–3293,Short summary
In the Arctic and sub-Arctic, climate shifts are changing ecosystems, resulting in alterations in snow, shrubs, and permafrost. Thicker snow under shrubs can lead to warmer permafrost because deeper snow will insulate the ground from the cold winter. In this paper, we use modeling to characterize snow to better understand the drivers of snow distribution. Eventually, this work will be used to improve models used to study future changes in Arctic and sub-Arctic snow patterns.
Fadji Z. Maina, Haruko M. Wainwright, Peter James Dennedy-Frank, and Erica R. Siirila-Woodburn
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 3805–3823,Short summary
We propose a hillslope clustering approach based on the seasonal changes in groundwater levels and test its performance by comparing it to several common clustering approaches (aridity index, topographic wetness index, elevation, land cover, and machine-learning clustering). The proposed approach is robust as it reasonably categorizes hillslopes with similar elevation, land cover, hydroclimate, land surface processes, and subsurface hydrodynamics, hence a similar hydrologic function.
Carlotta Brunetti, John Lamb, Stijn Wielandt, Sebastian Uhlemann, Ian Shirley, Patrick McClure, and Baptiste Dafflon
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 687–704,Short summary
This paper proposes a method to estimate thermal diffusivity and its uncertainty over time, at numerous locations and at an unprecedented vertical spatial resolution from soil temperature time series. We validate and apply this method to synthetic and field case studies. The improved quantification of soil thermal properties is a cornerstone for advancing the indirect estimation of the fraction of soil components needed to predict subsurface storage and fluxes of water, carbon, and nutrients.
Utkarsh Mital, Dipankar Dwivedi, James B. Brown, and Carl I. Steefel
Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,
Preprint under review for ESSDShort summary
We present a new dataset that estimates small-scale variations in precipitation and temperature in mountainous terrain. The dataset is generated using a new machine learning method that extracts relationships between climate and topography from existing coarse-scale datasets. The generated dataset is shown to capture small-scale variations more reliably than existing datasets, and constitutes a valuable resource to model the water-cycle in the mountains of Colorado, western United States.
Baptiste Dafflon, Stijn Wielandt, John Lamb, Patrick McClure, Ian Shirley, Sebastian Uhlemann, Chen Wang, Sylvain Fiolleau, Carlotta Brunetti, Franklin H. Akins, John Fitzpatrick, Samuel Pullman, Robert Busey, Craig Ulrich, John Peterson, and Susan S. Hubbard
The Cryosphere, 16, 719–736,Short summary
This study presents the development and validation of a novel acquisition system for measuring finely resolved depth profiles of soil and snow temperature at multiple locations. Results indicate that the system reliably captures the dynamics in snow thickness, as well as soil freezing and thawing depth, enabling advances in understanding the intensity and timing in surface processes and their impact on subsurface thermohydrological regimes.
Zexuan Xu, Rebecca Serata, Haruko Wainwright, Miles Denham, Sergi Molins, Hansell Gonzalez-Raymat, Konstantin Lipnikov, J. David Moulton, and Carol Eddy-Dilek
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 755–773,Short summary
Climate change could change the groundwater system and threaten water supply. To quantitatively evaluate its impact on water quality, numerical simulations with chemical and reaction processes are required. With the climate projection dataset, we used the newly developed hydrological and chemical model to investigate the movement of contaminants and assist the management of contamination sites.
Haruko M. Wainwright, Sebastian Uhlemann, Maya Franklin, Nicola Falco, Nicholas J. Bouskill, Michelle E. Newcomer, Baptiste Dafflon, Erica R. Siirila-Woodburn, Burke J. Minsley, Kenneth H. Williams, and Susan S. Hubbard
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 429–444,Short summary
This paper has developed a tractable approach for characterizing watershed heterogeneity and its relationship with key functions such as ecosystem sensitivity to droughts and nitrogen export. We have applied clustering methods to classify hillslopes into
watershed zonesthat have distinct distributions of bedrock-to-canopy properties as well as key functions. This is a powerful approach for guiding watershed experiments and sampling as well as informing hydrological and biogeochemical models.
Jiancong Chen, Baptiste Dafflon, Anh Phuong Tran, Nicola Falco, and Susan S. Hubbard
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 6041–6066,Short summary
The novel hybrid predictive modeling (HPM) approach uses a long short-term memory recurrent neural network to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) with only meteorological and remote-sensing inputs. We developed four use cases to demonstrate the applicability of HPM. The results indicate HPM is capable of providing ET and Reco estimations in challenging mountainous systems and enhances our understanding of watershed dynamics at sparsely monitored watersheds.
Nathan A. Wales, Jesus D. Gomez-Velez, Brent D. Newman, Cathy J. Wilson, Baptiste Dafflon, Timothy J. Kneafsey, Florian Soom, and Stan D. Wullschleger
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1109–1129,Short summary
Rapid warming in the Arctic is causing increased permafrost temperatures and ground ice degradation. To study the effects of ice degradation on water distribution, tracer was applied to two end members of ice-wedge polygons – a ubiquitous landform in the Arctic. End member type was found to significantly affect water distribution as lower flux was observed with ice-wedge degradation. Results suggest ice degradation can influence partitioning of sequestered carbon as carbon dioxide or methane.
Benjamin Mary, Luca Peruzzo, Jacopo Boaga, Nicola Cenni, Myriam Schmutz, Yuxin Wu, Susan S. Hubbard, and Giorgio Cassiani
SOIL, 6, 95–114,Short summary
The use of non-invasive geophysical imaging of root system processes is of increasing interest to study soil–plant interactions. The experiment focused on the behaviour of grapevine plants during a controlled infiltration experiment. The combination of the mise-à-la-masse (MALM) method, a variation of the classical electrical tomography map (ERT), for which the current is transmitted directly into the stem, holds the promise of being able to image root distribution.
Elchin E. Jafarov, Dylan R. Harp, Ethan T. Coon, Baptiste Dafflon, Anh Phuong Tran, Adam L. Atchley, Youzuo Lin, and Cathy J. Wilson
The Cryosphere, 14, 77–91,Short summary
Improved subsurface parameterization and benchmarking data are needed to reduce current uncertainty in predicting permafrost response to a warming climate. We developed a subsurface parameter estimation framework that can be used to estimate soil properties where subsurface data are available. We utilize diverse geophysical datasets such as electrical resistance data, soil moisture data, and soil temperature data to recover soil porosity and soil thermal conductivity.
Emmanuel Léger, Baptiste Dafflon, Yves Robert, Craig Ulrich, John E. Peterson, Sébastien C. Biraud, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, and Susan S. Hubbard
The Cryosphere, 13, 2853–2867,Short summary
We propose a new strategy called distributed temperature profiling (DTP) for improving the estimation of soil thermal properties through the use of an unprecedented number of laterally and vertically distributed temperature measurements. We tested a DTP system prototype by moving it sequentially across a discontinuous permafrost environment. The DTP enabled high-resolution identification of near-surface permafrost location and covariability with topography, vegetation, and soil properties.
Benjamin Mary, Luca Peruzzo, Jacopo Boaga, Myriam Schmutz, Yuxin Wu, Susan S. Hubbard, and Giorgio Cassiani
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5427–5444,
Gautam Bisht, William J. Riley, Haruko M. Wainwright, Baptiste Dafflon, Fengming Yuan, and Vladimir E. Romanovsky
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 61–76,Short summary
The land model integrated into the Energy Exascale Earth System Model was extended to include snow redistribution (SR) and lateral subsurface hydrologic and thermal processes. Simulation results at a polygonal tundra site near Barrow, Alaska, showed that inclusion of SR resulted in a better agreement with observations. Excluding lateral subsurface processes had a small impact on mean states but caused a large overestimation of spatial variability in soil moisture and temperature.
Jeffrey S. Kwang and Gary Parker
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 807–820,Short summary
A prevalent bedrock incision relation used in landscape evolution is the stream power incision model (SPIM), which relates incision rate to drainage area to the m power and slope to the n power. We show the most commonly used ratio, m ∕ n = 0.5, leads to scale invariance: a landscape that has a horizontal domain of 1 km × 1 km has exactly the same relief pattern as one with a 100 km × 100 km domain. This conclusion indicates that SPIM must yield unrealistic results over a wide range of conditions.
Anh Phuong Tran, Baptiste Dafflon, and Susan S. Hubbard
The Cryosphere, 11, 2089–2109,Short summary
Soil organics carbon (SOC) and its influence on terrestrial ecosystem feedbacks to global warming in permafrost regions are particularly important for the prediction of future climate variation. Our study proposes a new surface–subsurface, joint deterministic–stochastic hydrological–thermal–geophysical inversion approach and documents the benefit of including multiple types of data to estimate the vertical profile of SOC content and its influence on hydrological–thermal dynamics.
Haruko M. Wainwright, Anna K. Liljedahl, Baptiste Dafflon, Craig Ulrich, John E. Peterson, Alessio Gusmeroli, and Susan S. Hubbard
The Cryosphere, 11, 857–875,Short summary
Snow has a profound impact on permafrost and ecosystem functioning in the Arctic tundra. This paper aims to characterize the variability of end-of-winter snow depth and its relationship to topography in ice-wedge polygon tundra of Arctic Alaska. In addition, we develop a Bayesian geostatistical method to integrate multiscale observational platforms (a snow probe, ground penetrating radar, unmanned aerial system and airborne lidar) for estimating snow depth in high resolution over a large area.
Anh Phuong Tran, Baptiste Dafflon, Susan S. Hubbard, Michael B. Kowalsky, Philip Long, Tetsu K. Tokunaga, and Kenneth H. Williams
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3477–3491,Short summary
Quantifying water and heat fluxes in the shallow subsurface is particularly important due to their strong control on recharge, evaporation and biogeochemical processes. This study developed and tested a new inversion scheme to estimate subsurface hydro-thermal parameters by joint using different hydrological, thermal and geophysical data. It is especially useful for the increasing number of studies that are taking advantage of autonomously collected measurements to explore ecosystem dynamics.
Related subject area
Cross-cutting themes: Critical zone processesSediment export in marly badland catchments modulated by frost-cracking intensity, Draix–Bléone Critical Zone Observatory, SE FranceSediment size on talus slopes correlates with fracture spacing on bedrock cliffs: implications for predicting initial sediment size distributions on hillslopesDesigning a network of critical zone observatories to explore the living skin of the terrestrial EarthQuantifying the controls on potential soil production rates: a case study of the San Gabriel Mountains, CaliforniaSoilscape evolution of aeolian-dominated hillslopes during the Holocene: investigation of sediment transport mechanisms and climatic–anthropogenic driversExploring the sensitivity on a soil area-slope-grading relationship to changes in process parameters using a pedogenesis modelDesigning a suite of measurements to understand the critical zone
Coline Ariagno, Caroline Le Bouteiller, Peter van der Beek, and Sébastien Klotz
Earth Surf. Dynam., 10, 81–96,Short summary
critical zonenear the surface of the Earth is where geologic substrate, erosion, climate, and life meet and interact. This study focuses on mechanisms of physical weathering that produce loose sediment and make it available for transport. We show that the sediment export from a monitored catchment in the French Alps is modulated by frost-weathering processes and is therefore sensitive to complex modifications in a warming climate.
Joseph P. Verdian, Leonard S. Sklar, Clifford S. Riebe, and Jeffrey R. Moore
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1073–1090,Short summary
River behavior depends on the size of rocks they carry. Rocks are born on hillslopes where erosion removes fragments from solid bedrock. To understand what controls the size of rock fragments, we measured the spacing between cracks exposed in 15 bare-rock cliffs and the size of rocks on the ground below. We found that, for each site, the average rock size could be predicted from the average distance between cracks, which varied with rock type. This shows how rock type can influence rivers.
Susan L. Brantley, William H. McDowell, William E. Dietrich, Timothy S. White, Praveen Kumar, Suzanne P. Anderson, Jon Chorover, Kathleen Ann Lohse, Roger C. Bales, Daniel D. Richter, Gordon Grant, and Jérôme Gaillardet
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 841–860,Short summary
The layer known as the critical zone extends from the tree tops to the groundwater. This zone varies globally as a function of land use, climate, and geology. Energy and materials input from the land surface downward impact the subsurface landscape of water, gas, weathered material, and biota – at the same time that differences at depth also impact the superficial landscape. Scientists are designing observatories to understand the critical zone and how it will evolve in the future.
Jon D. Pelletier
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 479–492,Short summary
The rate at which bedrock can be converted into transportable material is a fundamental control on the topographic evolution of mountain ranges. Using the San Gabriel Mountains, California, as an example, in this paper I demonstrate that this rate depends on topographic slope in mountain ranges with large compressive stresses via the influence of topographically induced stresses on fractures. Bedrock and climate both control this rate, but topography influences bedrock in an interesting new way.
Sagy Cohen, Tal Svoray, Shai Sela, Greg Hancock, and Garry Willgoose
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 101–112,Short summary
Soil-depleted hillslopes across the Mediterranean and Europe are thought to be the result of human activity in the last 2–5 millennia. We study a site on the margin between Mediterranean and desert climates which was subject to intense wind-borne soil accumulation for tens of thousands of years but is now mostly bare. Using a numerical simulator we investigated the processes that may have led to this landscape and identified the specific signatures of different processes and drivers.
W. D. Dimuth P. Welivitiya, Garry R. Willgoose, Greg R. Hancock, and Sagy Cohen
Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 607–625,Short summary
This paper generalises the physical dependence of the relationship between contributing area, local slope, and the surface soil grading first described by Cohen et al. (2009, 2010) using a soil evolution model called SSSPAM. We show the influence of weathering on the equilibrium soil profile and its spatial distribution. We conclude that the soil grading relationship is robust and will occur for most equilibrium soils. This spatial organisation is also true below the surface.
Susan L. Brantley, Roman A. DiBiase, Tess A. Russo, Yuning Shi, Henry Lin, Kenneth J. Davis, Margot Kaye, Lillian Hill, Jason Kaye, David M. Eissenstat, Beth Hoagland, Ashlee L. Dere, Andrew L. Neal, Kristen M. Brubaker, and Dan K. Arthur
Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 211–235,Short summary
In order to better understand and forecast the evolution of the environment from the top of the vegetation canopy down to bedrock, numerous types of intensive measurements have been made over several years in a small watershed. The ability to expand such a study to larger areas and different environments requiring fewer measurements is essential. This study presents one possible approach to such an expansion, to collect necessary and sufficient measurements in order to forecast this evolution.
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We develop a hybrid model to estimate the spatial distribution of the thickness of the soil layer, which also provides estimations of soil transport and soil production rates. We apply this model to two examples of hillslopes in the East River watershed in Colorado and validate the model. The results show that the north-facing (NF) hillslope has a deeper soil layer than the south-facing (SF) hillslope and that the hybrid model provides better accuracy than a machine-learning model.
We develop a hybrid model to estimate the spatial distribution of the thickness of the soil...