Frozen ground covers a vast area of Earth surface and has its important ecohydrological implications for cold regions under changing climate. However, it is challenging to characterize the simultaneous transfer of mass and energy in frozen soils. Within the modeling framework of STEMMUS (Simultaneous Transfer of Mass, Momentum and Energy in Unsaturated Soil), the complexity of soil heat and mass transfer model varies from the basic coupled (termed as BCM), to the advance coupled heat and mass transfer (ACM), and further to the explicit consideration of airflow (ACM-AIR). The impact of different model complexities on understanding the mass, momentum and energy transfer in frozen soil was investigated. The model performance in simulating water and heat transfer and surface latent heat flux was evaluated over a typical Tibetan Plateau meadow site. Results indicate that the ACM considerably improved the simulation of soil moisture, temperature and latent heat flux. The analyses of heat budget reveal that the improvement of soil temperature simulations by ACM is attributed to its physical consideration of vapor flow and thermal effect on water flow, with the former mainly functions above the evaporative front and the latter dominates below the evaporative front. The contribution of airflow-induced water and heat transport (driven by the air pressure gradient) to the total mass and energy fluxes is negligible. Nevertheless, given the explicit consideration of airflow, vapor flow and its effects on heat transfer were enhanced during the freezing-thawing transition period.
Yu, L., Zeng, Y., & Su, Z. (2020). Understanding the mass, momentum, and energy transfer in the frozen soil with three levels of model complexities. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 24(10), 4813-4830. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-4813-2020