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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #142859

Title: Modeling soil freezing dynamics

item Flerchinger, Gerald
item Seyfried, Mark
item Hardegree, Stuart

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2002
Publication Date: 12/6/2002
Citation: Flerchinger, G.N., Seyfried, M.S., Hardegree, S.P. 2002. Modeling soil freezing dynamics.Abstract H11D-0880 In: EOS Transactions, Vol. 87 (43) Supplement, p. F538. American Geophysical Union, Washington D.C. (Abstract)

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Seasonally frozen soil strongly influences runoff and erosion on large areas of land around the world. In many areas, rain or snowmelt on seasonally frozen soil is the single leading cause of severe runoff and erosion events. As soils freeze, ice blocks the soil pores, greatly diminishing the permeability of the soil. This is aggravated by the tendency of water to migrate to the freezing front, causing elevated ice content and frost heave. Freezing and thawing of the soil are controlled by the complex interactions of heat and water transfer at the soil surface governed by meteorological and environmental conditions at the soil-atmosphere interface. Soil freezing dynamics including liquid water content, infiltration, and runoff simulated by the Simultaneous Heat and Water (SHAW) Model were tested at three field locations in southwest Idaho. Sites included: three soil types at the Orchard Field Test Site; bare and sagebrush-covered runoff plots at the Lower Sheep Creek site on the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed; and runoff plots on steep mountainous slopes on the Boise Front. Detailed simulations of soil freezing and thawing were conducted specifically to examine the dynamics of liquid water content during freezing and thawing. Freezing/thawing processes, including liquid water content and runoff, were simulated well.