Application of the Versatile Soil Moisture Budget Model to Estimate Evaporation from Prairie Grassland

Hayashi, Masaki; Jackson, John F.; Xu, Ligang
June 2010
Canadian Water Resources Journal / Revue Canadienne des Ressourc;Summer2010, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p187
Academic Journal
Coupled hydrological modelling of land surface and groundwater is an effective tool for water resources management. The Versatile Soil Moisture Budget (VSMB) model is a simple land-surface model that has been widely used in the Canadian prairies to simulate soil moisture conditions of cropland. Its algorithm is suitable for coupling with a groundwater model, but VSMB has not been rigorously tested for grassland as such. The accuracy of simulated grassland evaporation was evaluated against three years of field data collected using the eddy-covariance technique near Calgary, Alberta. The current version of VSMB substantially underestimated evaporation. After modifications on growth stage parameters, radiation scheme, the drying curve function representing the ratio of actual to potential evaporation, and soil-column length, simulated evaporation was well within the error margin of observed values. In the semi-arid environment of the test site, simulated evaporation was relatively insensitive to soil water storage parameters but was sensitive to the drying curve function and soil-column length.


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