2019 CSDMS meeting-059


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A conduit evolution model built in Landlab: Coupling surface and subsurface processes

Matt Covington, University of Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas, United States. mcoving@uark.edu

Matt Covington CSDMS Conference Poster final.png

Flow network models are commonly used to study the formation and evolution of karst conduit systems and subglacial conduit systems. Such models involve: 1) numerical solution of flow within the network, and 2) calculation of the rate of change of conduit or fracture size within each segment of the network. Solution of flow and conduit growth is alternated to simulate long-term evolution of the system. Head loss equations, such as the Darcy-Weisbach or Hagen Poiseuille Equations, and a prescription of flow conservation at conduit junctions, are used to iteratively solve for flow within each segment of the network. In the case of karst development codes, discharges within the network are used along with kinetic rate equations to calculate transport and dissolution rates within every conduit segment. For subglacial systems, pressure head and frictional energy dissipation determined from the flow solution are utilized to calculate conduit growth by ice melting and closure due to ice creep. The Landlab modeling environment and associated gridding library greatly ease the development of a flow solver. Here we present the first stages of development of a conduit evolution code within Landlab, with applications both to subglacial and karst systems. Future work will focus on coupling landscape evolution models with network growth models to examine interactions between surface and subsurface processes.