Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
16 May 2011
 | 16 May 2011

A modification of the mixed form of Richards equation and its application in vertically inhomogeneous soils

F. Kalinka and B. Ahrens

Abstract. Recently, new soil data maps were developed, which include vertical soil properties like soil type. Implementing those into a multilayer Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere-Transfer (SVAT) scheme, discontinuities in the water content occur at the interface between dissimilar soils. Therefore, care must be taken in solving the Richards equation for calculating vertical soil water fluxes. We solve a modified form of the mixed (soil water and soil matric potential based) Richards equation by subtracting the equilibrium state of soil matrix potential ψE from the hydraulic potential ψh. The sensitivity of the modified equation is tested under idealized conditions. The paper will show that the modified equation can handle with discontinuities in soil water content at the interface of layered soils.