Groundwater recharge is a key component of the hydrological cycle, yet its direct measurement is complex and often difficult to achieve. An alternative is its inverse estimation through a combination of numerical models and transient observations from distributed soil water monitoring stations. However, an often neglected aspect of this approach is the effect of model predictive uncertainty on simulated water fluxes. In this study, we made use of long-term soil water content measurements at 14 locations from the Austrian soil water monitoring program to quantify and compare local potential groundwater recharge rates and their temporal variability. Observations were coupled with a Bayesian probabilistic framework to calibrate the HYDRUS-1D model and assess the effect of model predictive uncertainty on long-term simulated recharge fluxes. Estimated annual potential recharge rates ranged from 44 to 1319mm a(-1) with a relative uncertainty (95% interquantile range/median) in the estimation of between 1% and 39 %. Recharge rates decreased longitudinally, with high rates and lower seasonality at western sites and low rates with high seasonality and extended periods without recharge at the southeastern and eastern Austrian sites. Higher recharge rates and lower actual evapotranspiration were related to sandy soils; however, climatic factors had a stronger influence on estimated potential groundwater recharge than soil properties, underscoring the vulnerability of groundwater recharge to the effects of climate change.

Estimating vadose zone water fluxes from soil water monitoring data: a comprehensive field study in Austria

Brunetti, G;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Groundwater recharge is a key component of the hydrological cycle, yet its direct measurement is complex and often difficult to achieve. An alternative is its inverse estimation through a combination of numerical models and transient observations from distributed soil water monitoring stations. However, an often neglected aspect of this approach is the effect of model predictive uncertainty on simulated water fluxes. In this study, we made use of long-term soil water content measurements at 14 locations from the Austrian soil water monitoring program to quantify and compare local potential groundwater recharge rates and their temporal variability. Observations were coupled with a Bayesian probabilistic framework to calibrate the HYDRUS-1D model and assess the effect of model predictive uncertainty on long-term simulated recharge fluxes. Estimated annual potential recharge rates ranged from 44 to 1319mm a(-1) with a relative uncertainty (95% interquantile range/median) in the estimation of between 1% and 39 %. Recharge rates decreased longitudinally, with high rates and lower seasonality at western sites and low rates with high seasonality and extended periods without recharge at the southeastern and eastern Austrian sites. Higher recharge rates and lower actual evapotranspiration were related to sandy soils; however, climatic factors had a stronger influence on estimated potential groundwater recharge than soil properties, underscoring the vulnerability of groundwater recharge to the effects of climate change.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/349157
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact