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Energy states of soil water – a thermodynamic perspective on soil water dynamics and storage-controlled streamflow generation in different landscapes

Zehe, Erwin; Loritz, Ralf; Jackisch, Conrad; Westhoff, Martijn; Kleidon, Axel; Blume, Theresa; Hassler, Sibylle K.; Savenije, Hubert H.

The present study confirms that a thermodynamic perspective on soil water is well suited to distinguishing the typical interplay of gravity and capillarity controls on soil water dynamics in different landscapes. To this end, we express the driving matric and gravity potentials by their energetic counterparts and characterize soil water by its free energy state. The latter is the key to defining a new system characteristic determining the possible range of energy states of soil water, reflecting the joint influences of soil physical properties and height over nearest drainage (HAND) in a stratified manner. As this characteristic defines the possible range of energy states of soil water in the root zone, it also allows an instructive comparison of top soil water dynamics observed in two distinctly different landscapes. This is because the local thermodynamic equilibrium at a given HAND and the related equilibrium storage allow a subdivision of the possible free energy states into two different regimes. Wetting of the soil in local equilibrium implies that free energy of soil water becomes positive, which in turn implies that the soil is in a state of storage excess, while further drying of the soil leads to a negative free energy and a state of storage deficit. ... mehr

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000091853
Veröffentlicht am 05.03.2019
DOI: 10.5194/hess-23-971-2019
Zitationen: 1
Web of Science
Zitationen: 1
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2019
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1607-7938
KITopen-ID: 1000091853
Erschienen in Hydrology and earth system sciences
Band 23
Heft 2
Seiten 971–987
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 18.02.2019
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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