Accurate representing freeze-thaw (FT) process is of great importance in cold region hydrology and climate studies. With the STEMMUS-FT model (Simultaneous Transfer of Energy, Mass and Momentum in Unsaturated Soil), we investigated the coupled water and heat transfer in the variably saturated frozen soil and the mechanisms of water phase change along with both evaporation and FT process, at a typical meadow ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau. The STEMMUS-FT showed its capability of depicting the simultaneous movement of soil moisture and heat flow in frozen soil. The comparison of different parameterizations of soil thermal conductivity indicated that the de Vries parameterization performed better than others in reproducing the hydrothermal dynamics of frozen soils. The analysis of water/vapor fluxes indicated that both the liquid water and vapor fluxes move upward to the freezing front and highlighted the crucial role of vapor flow during soil FT cycles as it connects the water/vapor transfer beneath the freezing front and above the evaporation front. The liquid/vapor advective fluxes make a negligible contribution to the total mass transfer. Nevertheless, the interactive effect of soil ice and air can be found on the spatial and temporal variations of advective fluxes in frozen soils.
Yu, L., Zeng, Y., Wen, J. & Su, Z. 2018, Liquid-Vapor-Air Flow in the Frozen Soil, Journal of Geophysical Research : Atmospheres. Doi: 10.1029/2018jd028502, 23 p