Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model evaluation paper
12 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
EcH2O-iso 1.0: Water isotopes and age tracking in a process-based, distributed ecohydrological model
Sylvain Kuppel1, Doerthe Tetzlaff1,2,3, Marco P. Maneta4, and Chris Soulsby1,2 1Northern Rivers Institute, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UF, UK
2Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, 12587, Germany
3Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, 10099, Germany
4Geosciences Department, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812-1296, USA
Abstract. We introduce EcH2O-iso, a new development of the physically-based, fully-distributed ecohydrological model EcH2O where the tracking of water isotopic tracers (2H and 18O) and age has been incorporated. EcH2O-iso is evaluated at a montane, low-energy experimental catchment in eastern Scotland using 16 independent isotope time series from various landscape positions and compartments; encompassing soil water, groundwater, stream water, and plant xylem. We find a good model-observation match in most cases, despite having only calibrated the model using hydrometric data and energy fluxes. These results provide further validation of the physical basis of the model for successfully capturing catchment hydrological functioning, both in terms of the celerity in energy propagation (e.g. runoff generation under prevailing hydraulic gradients) and flow velocities of water molecules (e.g., in consistent tracer concentrations at given locations and times). We also show that the spatially-distributed formulation of EcH2O-iso provides a powerful tool for quantitatively linking water stores and fluxes with spatio-temporal patterns of isotopes ratios and water ages. Finally, our study highlights some model development and benchmarking needs, refined using isotope-based calibration, for hypothesis testing and improved simulations of catchment dynamics that is transferable beyond the catchment landscape studied here.
Citation: Kuppel, S., Tetzlaff, D., Maneta, M. P., and Soulsby, C.: EcH2O-iso 1.0: Water isotopes and age tracking in a process-based, distributed ecohydrological model, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Sylvain Kuppel et al.
Sylvain Kuppel et al.
Sylvain Kuppel et al.


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