Concetta D’Amato, Ph.D. Candidate 35th cycle, University of Trento, DICAM

My research project aims to develop a robust numerical model to estimate the evapotranspiration flow of plants considering the available water present in the soil. The physical phenomena to be considered therefore include three important environmental compartments: soil, vegetation and atmosphere. Water is the common vector to these compartments and the goal is to understand and model how water moves from the soil to the leaves of the plants, through the roots and the stem. GEOSPACE (GEOframe Soil Plant Atmosphere Continuum Estimator) is the model we have developed, the ecohydrological model of the GEOframe system that simulates the soil-plant-atmosphere interactions to study and analyze the complex processes that occur in the Earth Critical Zone (CZ).
GEOSPACE is developed in Java using the Object-Oriented programming paradigm and it is completely open source, available on the GEOframe GitHub website. The code organization and its functionalities besides solving the hydrological issues are designed according to principle of open science to be inspectable and verified by third parties. As all the GEOframe models, it is organized in models components that are connected together before the execution time with an appropriate scripting based on Object Modelling System v3 (OMS3) framework.
GEOSPACE is a coupled model in which the three major components are WHETGEO, GEOET and BrokerGEO. WHETGEO, Water Heat and Transport in GEOframe, solves the conservative form of Richardson-Richards equation using the Newton-Casulli-Zanolli algorithm. WHETGEO also implements the numerical solution shown in Casulli and Zanolli (2005) to solve the advection-dispersion equation and describe the solute transport. GEOET, EvapoTranspiration in GEOframe, computes evapotranspiration according to three different formulations, the Priestley-Taylor model, Penman FAO model and GEOframe-Prospero model. GEOET considers Jarvis model and Ball-Berry-Leuning model to compute environmental and water stress factors. BrokerGEO is the coupler component that allows the exchange of data between the other two components in memory and considers the root water uptake for the computation of the actual evapotranspiration. GEOSPACE ensures conservation of both mass and energy balance. 
A first applications of the model have highlighted the importance of the root depth in the computation of the real evapotranspiration due to the variation of the water content along the soil profile. The GEOSPACE model was tested with different lysimeter dataset from the Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne. The analysis we carried out with GEOSPACE are about the flux partitioning of precipitation and irrigation water into evaporation and transpiration; the soil water and groundwater storage; the transport of water stable isotopes through the soil. My work is functional to the PRIN 2017 WATZON project.
new version of lysimeter will be implemented for taking in account multiple type of vegetation in the same place. My work is functional to the PRIN 2017 WATZON project.