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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Guber, Andrey - UNIV. OF CA, RIVERSIDE
item Pachepsky, Yakov
item Jacques, Diederik - SCK-CEN,MOL, BELGIUM
item Van Genuchten, Martinus
item Simunek, Jiri - UNIV. OF CA, RIVERSIDE
item Cady, Ralph - USNRC, RES
item Nicholson, Thomas - USNRC, RES

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 2005
Publication Date: May 23, 2005
Citation: Guber, A., Pachepsky, Y.A., Jacques, D., Van Genuchten, M.T., Simunek, J., Cady, R.E., Nicholson, T.J. 2005. Information content and complexity of simulated soil water flux series [abstract]. Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union. 86(18):H130-06.

Technical Abstract: The accuracy-based performance measures may not suffice to discriminate among soil water flow models. Comparing complexity of the model structures does not lead to quantifiable results. The objective of this work was to attempt using information theory parameters to discriminate between simulated time series of soil water fluxes obtained from different models for the same site. The Richards equation-based model HYDRUS-1D and a water budget-type model MWBUS were used to simulate one-year long observations of soil water contents and infiltration fluxes at various depths in a 1.5-meter deep loamy Eutric Regosol in Bekkevoort, Belgium. We used the metric entropy and the mean information gain as information content measures, and the effective complexity measure and the fluctuation complexity as complexity measures. Fifty Monte Carlo simulation runs were performed with both models using hydraulic properties measured along a trench. The two models had the similar accuracy of water flux simulations, but showed distinct differences in their relationships between complexity and information content. Overall, more complex simulated soil flux time series were obtained with the HYDRUS-1D model that was perceived to be conceptually more complex than the WMBUS model. An increase in the complexity of water flux time series occurred in parallel with the decrease in the information content. Using both complexity and information content parameters allowed us to discriminate between the soil water models that gave the same accuracy of soil water flux estimates.

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