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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-110
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-110
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 11 Jun 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 11 Jun 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

CE-DYNAM (v1), a spatially explicit, process-based carbon erosion scheme for the use in Earth system models

Victoria Naipal1, Ronny Lauerwald2, Philippe Ciais1, Bertrand Guenet1, and Yilong Wang1 Victoria Naipal et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA CNRS UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191, France
  • 2Department of Geoscience, Environment and Society, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. Soil erosion by rainfall and runoff is an important process behind the redistribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) over land, hereby impacting the exchange of carbon (C) between land, atmosphere and rivers. However, the net role of soil erosion in the global C cycle is still unclear as it involves small-scale SOC removal, transport and re-deposition processes that can only be addressed over selected small regions with measurements and models. This leads to uncertainties in future projections of SOC stocks and complicates the evaluation of strategies to mitigate climate change through increased SOC sequestration.

In this study we present the parsimonious process-based Carbon Erosion DYNAMics model (CE-DYNAM) that links sediment dynamics resulting from water erosion with the C cycle along a cascade of hillslopes, floodplains and rivers. The model simulates horizontal soil and C transfers triggered by erosion across landscapes and the resulting changes in land-atmosphere CO2 fluxes at a resolution of about 8 km at the catchment scale. CE-DYNAM is the result of the coupling of a previously developed coarse-resolution sediment budget model and the ecosystem C cycle and erosion removal model derived from the ORCHIDEE land surface model. CE-DYNAM is driven by spatially explicit historical land use change, climate forcing, and global atmospheric CO2 concentrations affecting ecosystem productivity, erosion rates and residence times of sediment and C in deposition sites. The main features of CE-DYNAM are (1) the spatially explicit simulation of sediment and C fluxes linking hillslopes and floodplains, (2) the low number of parameters that allow running the model at large spatial scales and over long-time scales, and (3) its compatibility with any global land surface model, hereby, providing opportunities to study the effect of soil erosion under global changes.

We present the model structure, concepts, and evaluation at the scale of the Rhine catchment for the period 1850–2005 AD. Model results are validated against independent estimates of gross and net soil and C erosion rates, and the spatial variability of SOC stocks from high-resolution modeling studies and observational datasets. We show that despite local differences, the resulting soil and C erosion rates, and SOC stocks from our rather coarse-resolution modelling approach are comparable to high-resolution estimates and observations at sub-basin level. The model also shows that SOC storage increases exponentially with basin area for floodplains in contrast to hillslopes as is seen in observations. We find that soil erosion mobilized 159 Tg (1012 g) of C under changing climate and land use, assuming that the erosion loop of the C cycle was in near steady-state by 1850. This caused a net C sink equal to 1 % of the Net Primary Productivity of the Rhine catchment over 1850–2005 AD. This sink is a result of the dynamic replacement of C on eroding sites that increases in this period due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations enhancing the litter C input to the soil from primary production.

Victoria Naipal et al.
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Victoria Naipal et al.
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Data for the Carbon Erosion Dynamics Model (CE-DYNAM) V. Naipal, R. Lauerwald, P. Ciais, B. Guenet, and Y. Wang https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2642452

Victoria Naipal et al.
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Short summary
In this study we present the Carbon Erosion DYNAMics model (CE-DYNAM) that links sediment dynamics resulting from water erosion with the soil carbon cycle along a cascade of hillslopes, floodplains and rivers. The model can simulate the removal of soil and carbon from eroding areas and their destination at regional scale. We calibrated and validated the model for the Rhine catchment and show that soil erosion is a potential net carbon sink over the period 1850–2005.
In this study we present the Carbon Erosion DYNAMics model (CE-DYNAM) that links sediment...
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