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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-2019-217
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-217
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 30 Oct 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 30 Oct 2019

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

A multi-isotope model for simulating soil organic carbon cycling on an eroding landscape (WATEM_C v1.0)

Zhengang Wang1,2 and Kristof Van Oost2 Zhengang Wang and Kristof Van Oost
  • 1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of geography and planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • 2Georges Lemaître Center for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Abstract. There is increasing recognition that lateral soil organic carbon (SOC) fluxes due to erosion have imposed an important impact on the global C cycling. Field and experimental studies have been conducted to investigate this topic. It is useful to have a modelling tool that takes into account various soil properties and has flexible resolution and scale options, so that it can be widely used to study relevant processes and evaluate the effect of soil erosion on SOC cycling. This study presents a model that is capable of simulating SOC cycling on a dynamic landscape. It considers all the three C isotopes (12C, 13C and 14C) with flexible time step and vertical solution of the soil profile. The model gives a 3D representation of soil properties such as 137Cs activity, SOC stock, and δ13C and Δ14C values. Using the same C cycling processes in stable, eroding and depositional areas, our model is able to reproduce the observed spatial and vertical patterns of C, δ13C values and Δ14C values. This indicates that physical soil redistribution is the main cause of the spatial variability of these C metrics.

Zhengang Wang and Kristof Van Oost
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Zhengang Wang and Kristof Van Oost
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Latest update: 18 Nov 2019
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Short summary
This study developed a spatially distributed carbon cycling model applicable in an eroding landscape. It includes all the three carbon isotopes so that it is able to represent the carbon isotopic compositions. The model is able to represent the observations that eroding area is enriched in 13C and depleted of 14C compared to depositional area. Our simulations show that the spatial variability of carbon isotopic properties in an eroding landscape is mainly caused by the soil redistribution.
This study developed a spatially distributed carbon cycling model applicable in an eroding...
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