To account for the seasonal changes in the soil thermal and hydrological dynamics, the soil moisture state physical process defined by the Richards Equation is integrated with the soil thermal state defined by the numerical model of phase change based on the quasi-linear heat conductive equation. The numerical model of phase change is used to compute a vertical soil temperature profile using the soil moisture information from the Richards solver; the soil moisture numerical model, in turn, uses this temperature and phase, information to update hydraulic conductivities in the vertical soil moisture profile. Long-term simulation results from the test case, a head water sub-catchment at the peak of the Caribou Poker Creek Research Watershed, representing the Alaskan permafrost active region, indicated that freezing temperatures decreases infiltration, increases overland flow and peak discharges by increasing the soil ice content and decaying the soil hydraulic conductivity exponentially. Available observed and the simulated soil temperature comparison analysis showed that the root mean square error for the daily maximum soil temperature at 10-cm depth was 4.7 °C, and that for the hourly soil temperature at 90-cm and 300-cm was 0.17 °C and 0.14 °C, respectively.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited