CSDMS 2015 annual meeting poster ReggieWalters

Presentation provided during CSDMS annual meeting 2015

Soil carbon in the Critical Zone: spinning up an ecohydrologic model using spatiotemporally distributed data records

Reggie Walters, Boise State University, Idaho, United States. reggiewalters@u.boisestate.edu
Alejandro Flores, Boise State University, Idaho, United States.


The Critical Zone is the region of the earth comprising all materials and processes from the top of the vegetative canopy to the top of the water table. Here, the fate of carbon (C) stored in soils is subject to appreciable uncertainty due to incomplete process understanding and representation in biogeochemical and earth system models. Since the size of the global soil C pool exceeds that of the atmospheric reservoir, this resource has considerable potential to act as either a source or a sink of CO2 under future scenarios, lending positive or negative feedbacks to climate change. This study applies a terrestrial water, C, and nitrogen model (Biome-BGC) across the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), an experimental watershed (238 km^2) located in southwest Idaho, USA. Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed (RCEW) is maintained by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) offering spatially and temporally extensive datasets that are invaluable for model forcing and parameterization. Model spin-up is performed using a 26-year distributed meteorological dataset in conjunction with site-specific soil and vegetation information. Methods and results for meteorological station spatial distribution are discussed along with preliminary equilibrium soil C state estimates for comparison with point field observations. Model parameter sensitivities are also explored with the goal of informing ongoing CZO field research and offering insight into the processes controlling soil C storage and turnover within this semi-arid region.

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