Logo Logo
Switch language to English
Muerth, Markus (2008): A soil temperature and energy balance model for integrated assessment of Global Change impacts at the regional scale. Dissertation, LMU München: Fakultät für Geowissenschaften



The investigation of the impact of Global Change on the basic resources on which life, and man, depends, is the main objective of the environmental science community at the beginning of the 21st century. Advances in information technology, new methods of spatially distributed data retrieval and increased understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes in the Earth system facilitate integrative models of the dynamic processes under change. Together with the integration of deep actors models from social and economical sciences into a common model framework, scenario runs based on inputs from Regional Climate Models (RCMs) and constrained by prognoses of the future developments in demography, economy and human behaviour are now possible. The objective of the integrative project GLOWA-Danube is the development of such a modelling system and its application on the mesoscale catchment of the Upper Danube river with an area of about 77,000 km2. The decision support system DANUBIA is designed for plausible predictions of the impact of changes in climate, human behaviour and land use on the future of the water and related matter cycles. DANUBIA is able to assist knowledge-based management decisions, by predicting the effects of adaptation and mitigation strategies on the natural resources of the Upper Danube basin. The closure of the water, energy, nitrogen and carbon cycles in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system relies on the adequate representation of all processes involved and their interaction. To close the energy cycle in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system and provide valuable input data for biochemical models of soil nitrogen and carbon transformation, this thesis presents the Soil Heat Transfer Module (SHTM) together with an energy balance algorithm of the soil surface for regional scale simulations. SHTM combines simplified physical algorithms for the computation of the actual temperature in the upper soil layers and a dynamic lower boundary condition to represent Climate Change conditions. Changes in soil moisture and soil freezing are explicitly taken into account. The surface ground heat flux as the driving force of the model is provided by an explicit solution of the soil surface energy balance and a snow-soil coupling algorithm, respectively. This thesis shows, that the soil temperature and energy balance modules developed as extensions of PROMET (PROcesses of Matter and Energy Transfer) are ready to bridge the gap between regional scale (up to 100,000 km2) application and the requirement of physical process models in predictive, coupled modelling systems like DANUBIA.