Challenges, new measurement techniques and model approaches for soil physical parameterizations in land surface, climate and earth science model
Co-organized by HS13
Convener: Aurore Degré | Co-conveners: Anne Verhoef, Hailong HeECSECS, Martine van der Ploeg, Ryan StewartECSECS
| Attendance Mon, 04 May, 08:30–12:30 (CEST)

The hydrophysical and thermal properties of soils play a major role in current societal issues such as agricultural productivity, the preservation of water resources, gas and energy exchanges between soil and atmosphere and ultimately the protection of livelihoods. However, laboratory and field methods used to characterize soil properties remain questionable as to their suitability, and representativeness of the highly heterogeneous soil medium.
Moreover, reliable parameterization of key soil processes is important in land surface models. Parameter uncertainties, missing processes, process descriptions that lack reality, and the assumption that soil parameters remain constant in time, adversely impact the fidelity of flux- and state variable estimates. For example, in recent years, highly spatially resolved global data sets of soil properties have been developed for improved parameterization of soil hydraulic properties, yet they lack incorporation in Earth system models.
Also, while many pedotransfer functions exist to estimate the parameters that describe the hydrophysical and thermal soil characteristics, they remain globalizing approaches, based on limited available in-situ data, that are often dominated by certain regions and soil types. Hence, their usefulness is limited when it comes to assessing the impact of innovative practices that bring about changes in soil structure.
In this context, this session acknowledges that soil structure matters and invites contributions presenting new approaches to characterise the physical properties of soils using new sensors, new field and/or lab measurement techniques, as well as contributions illustrating comparative approaches between methods and/or laboratories.
This scientific session also welcomes contributions on improved parameterization of soil and critical zone processes. This session aims to bring together scientists from the climate- and soil-biogeosciences communities and to identify key shortcomings in current land surface models. Specifically, we welcome contributions that are already exploring the use of existing global datasets to advance soil model parameterization, including those embedded in weather forecast or climate models.
The session is part of the SOPHIE initiative (Soil Program on Hydro-Physics via International Engagement)

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