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Three-phase Numerical Model for Subsurface Hydrology in Permafrost-affected Regions (Pflotran-ice V1.0) : Volume 8, Issue 5 (23/10/2014)

By Karra, S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003977678
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 16
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Three-phase Numerical Model for Subsurface Hydrology in Permafrost-affected Regions (Pflotran-ice V1.0) : Volume 8, Issue 5 (23/10/2014)  
Author: Karra, S.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Painter, S. L., Lichtner, P. C., & Karra, S. (2014). Three-phase Numerical Model for Subsurface Hydrology in Permafrost-affected Regions (Pflotran-ice V1.0) : Volume 8, Issue 5 (23/10/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Computational Earth Science Group, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA. Degradation of near-surface permafrost due to changes in the climate is expected to impact the hydrological, ecological and biogeochemical responses of the Arctic tundra. From a hydrological perspective, it is important to understand the movement of the various phases of water (gas, liquid and ice) during the freezing and thawing of near-surface soils. We present a new non-isothermal, single-component (water), three-phase formulation that treats air as an inactive component. This single component model works well and produces similar results to a more complete and computationally demanding two-component (air, water) formulation, and is able to reproduce results of previously published laboratory experiments. A proof-of-concept implementation in the massively parallel subsurface flow and reactive transport code PFLOTRAN is summarized, and parallel performance of that implementation is demonstrated. When water vapor diffusion is considered, a large effect on soil moisture dynamics is seen, which is due to dependence of thermal conductivity on ice content. A large three-dimensional simulation (with around 6 million degrees of freedom) of seasonal freezing and thawing is also presented.

Three-phase numerical model for subsurface hydrology in permafrost-affected regions (PFLOTRAN-ICE v1.0)

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