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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model description paper
10 Dec 2015
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.
An integrated Dissolved Organic Carbon Dynamics Model (DOCDM 1.0): model development and a case study in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin
X. Lu1,a and Q. Zhuang1,2 1Department of Earth, Atmospheric, Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN, 47907, USA
2Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 47907, USA
anow at: The Ecosystems Center, the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, 02536, USA
Abstract. Quantitative understanding of the variation in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is important to studying the terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle. This study presents a process-based, dissolved organic carbon dynamics model (DOCDM 1.0) that couples the soil heat conduction, water flow, DOC production, mineralization and transport in both surface and subsurface of soil profile to quantify DOC dynamics in boreal terrestrial ecosystems. The model is first evaluated and then applied for a watershed in Alaska to investigate its DOC production and transport. We find that 42 and 27 % of precipitation infiltrates to soils in 2004, a warmer year, and in 1976, a colder year, respectively. Under warming conditions, DOC transported via overland flow does not show the expected decrease trend while the overland DOC yield shows a 4 % increase. The horizontal subsurface flow only accounts for 1–2 % of total water flux, but transports 30–50 % of DOC into rivers. Water flush due to water infiltration controls DOC transport. Snowmelt plays a noticeable role in DOC flush-out and DOC transport significantly depends on flowpaths in the study region. High soil temperature stimulates DOC production. The overland DOC export does not necessarily follow the DOC downward trend in surface water transport. Overall, this study shows that DOC export behavior is complex under changing temperature and hydrological conditions in cold-region watersheds. To adequately quantify DOC dynamics in northern high latitudes, more DOC and hydrological data are needed to better parameterize and test the developed model before extrapolating it to the region.

Citation: Lu, X. and Zhuang, Q.: An integrated Dissolved Organic Carbon Dynamics Model (DOCDM 1.0): model development and a case study in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 8, 10411-10454,, 2015.
X. Lu and Q. Zhuang
Interactive discussionStatus: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
RC C3496: 'Review 1 of Lu and Zhuang', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Dec 2015 Printer-friendly Version 
RC C3860: 'Review 2 for Lu and Zhuang', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Jan 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C3920: 'Comments on "An Integrated Dissolved Organic Carbon Dynamics Model" by Lu and Zhuang', Mattias Winterdahl, 01 Feb 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
X. Lu and Q. Zhuang


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