tran-SAS v1.0: a numerical model to compute catchment-scale hydrologic transport using StorAge Selection functions

Benettin, Paolo; Bertuzzo, Enrico

This paper presents the “tran-SAS” package, which includes a set of codes to model solute transport and water residence times through a hydrological system. The model is based on a catchment-scale approach that aims at reproducing the integrated response of the system at one of its outlets. The codes are implemented in MATLAB and are meant to be easy to edit, so that users with minimal programming knowledge can adapt them to the desired application. The problem of large-scale solute transport has both theoretical and practical implications. On the one side, the ability to represent the ensemble of water flow trajectories through a heterogeneous system helps unraveling streamflow generation processes and allows us to make inferences on plant–water interactions. On the other side, transport models are a practical tool that can be used to estimate the persistence of solutes in the environment. The core of the package is based on the implementation of an age master equation (ME), which is solved using general StorAge Selection (SAS) functions. The age ME is first converted into a set of ordinary differential equations, each addressing the transport of an individual precipitation input through the catchment, and then it is discretized using an explicit numerical scheme. Results show that the implementation is efficient and allows the model to run in short times. The numerical accuracy is critically evaluated and it is shown to be satisfactory in most cases of hydrologic interest. Additionally, a higher-order implementation is provided within the package to evaluate and, if necessary, to improve the numerical accuracy of the results. The codes can be used to model streamflow age and solute concentration, but a number of additional outputs can be obtained by editing the codes to further advance the ability to understand and model catchment transport processes.



Benettin, Paolo / Bertuzzo, Enrico: tran-SAS v1.0: a numerical model to compute catchment-scale hydrologic transport using StorAge Selection functions. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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