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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-16
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
29 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).
A coupled soilscape-landform evolution model: Model formulation and initial results
W. D. Dimuth P. Welivitiya1,2, Garry R. Willgoose1, and Greg R. Hancock2 1School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, 2308, Australia
2School of Environment and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, 2308, Australia
Abstract. This paper describes the coupling of the State Space Soil Production and Assessment Model (SSSPAM) soilscape evolution model with a landform evolution model to integrate soil profile dynamics and landform evolution. SSSPAM is a computationally efficient soil evolution model which was formulated by generalising the mARM3D modelling framework to further explore the soil profile self-organization in space and time, and its dynamic evolution. The landform evolution was integrated into SSSPAM by incorporating the processes of deposition and elevation changes resulting from erosion and deposition. The complexities of the physically based process equations were simplified by introducing state-space matrix methodology that allows efficient simulation of mechanistically linked landscape and pedogenesis processes for catena spatial scales. The modelling approach and the physics underpinning the modelled processes are described in detail. SSSPAM explicitly describes the particle size grading of the entire soil profile at different soil depths, tracks the sediment grading of the flow, and calculates the elevation difference caused by erosion and deposition at every point in the soilscape at each time step. The landform evolution model allows the landform to change in response to (1) erosion and deposition, and (2) spatial organisation of the co-evolving soils. This allows comprehensive analysis of soil landform interactions and soil self-organization. SSSPAM simulates fluvial erosion, armouring, physical weathering, and sediment deposition. The modular nature of the SSSPAM framework allows integration of other pedogenesis processes in follow-on research projects. This paper presents the initial results of soil profile evolution on a dynamic landform. These simulations were carried out on a simple linear hillslope to understand the relationships between soil characteristics and the geomorphic attributes (e.g. slope, area). Process interactions which lead to such relationships were also identified. The influence of the depth dependent weathering function on soilscape and landform evolution was also explored. These simulations show that the balance between erosion rate and sediment load in the flow accounts for the variability in spatial soil characteristics while the depth dependent weathering function has a major influence on soil formation and landform evolution.
Citation: Welivitiya, W. D. D. P., Willgoose, G. R., and Hancock, G. R.: A coupled soilscape-landform evolution model: Model formulation and initial results, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-16, in review, 2018.
W. D. Dimuth P. Welivitiya et al.
W. D. Dimuth P. Welivitiya et al.
W. D. Dimuth P. Welivitiya et al.

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Short summary
The paper describes a model that simultaneously evolves both the soil profile and the landform, creating a coupled soilscape-landscape evolution model. The physics in the model is presented and justified from physical processes. The behaviour of the model is then explored for a variety of process formulations for a one-dimensional hillslope consisting of a flat upslope, steep midslope and flat lowlands, exploring the erosion and deposition behaviour, and soil profile evolution over time.
The paper describes a model that simultaneously evolves both the soil profile and the landform,...
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