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Ecohydrologic modeling in deciduous boreal forest: Model evaluation for application in non-stationary climates
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  • Adrienne Marshall,
  • Timothy Link,
  • Gerald Flerchinger,
  • Dmitry Nicolsky,
  • Melissa Lucash
Adrienne Marshall
University of Idaho
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Timothy Link
University of Idaho
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Gerald Flerchinger
USDA - ARS
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Dmitry Nicolsky
University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Melissa Lucash
University of Oregon
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Abstract

Soil moisture is an important driver of growth in boreal Alaska, but estimating soil hydraulic parameters can be challenging in this data-sparse region. To better identify soil hydraulic parameters and quantify energy and water balance and soil moisture dynamics, we applied the physically-based, one-dimensional ecohydrologic Simultaneous Heat and Water (SHAW) model, loosely coupled with the Geophysical Institute of Permafrost Laboratory (GIPL) model, to an upland deciduous forest stand in interior Alaska over a 13-year period. Using a Generalized Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) parameterization, SHAW reproduced interannual and vertical spatial variability of soil moisture during a five-year validation period quite well, with root mean squared error (RMSE) of volumetric water content at 0.5 m as low as 0.020. Many parameter sets reproduced reasonable soil moisture dynamics, suggesting considerable equifinality. Model performance generally declined in the eight-year validation period, indicating some overfitting and demonstrating the importance of interannual variability in model evaluation. We compared the performance of parameter sets selected based on traditional performance measures (RMSE) that minimize error in soil moisture simulation, with those that were designed to minimize the dependence of model performance on interannual climate variability. The latter case moderately decreases traditional model performance but is likely more suitable for climate change applications, for which it is important that model error is independent from climate variability. These findings illustrate (1) that the SHAW model, coupled with GIPL, can adequately simulate soil moisture dynamics in this boreal deciduous region, (2) the importance of interannual variability in model parameterization, and (3) a novel objective function for parameter selection to improve applicability in non-stationary climates.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

29 Oct 2020Submitted to Hydrological Processes
31 Oct 2020Submission Checks Completed
31 Oct 2020Assigned to Editor
31 Oct 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
30 Apr 20211st Revision Received
03 May 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
03 May 2021Assigned to Editor
19 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 May 2021Editorial Decision: Accept