A vertically integrated two-dimensional lateral flow model of soil moisture has been developed. Derivation of the governing equation is based on a physical interpretation of hillslope processes. The lateral subsurface-flow model permits variability of precipitation and evapotranspiration, and allows arbitrary specification of soil-moisture retention properties. Variable slope, soil thickness, and saturation are all accommodated. The numerical solution method, a Crank-Nicolson, finite-difference, upstream-weighted scheme, is simple and robust. A small catchment in northeastern Kansas is the subject of an application of the lateral subsurface-flow model. Calibration of the model using observed discharge provides estimates of the active porosity (0.1 cm3/cm3) and of the saturated horizontal hydraulic conductivity (40 cm/hr). The latter figure is at least an order of magnitude greater than the vertical hydraulic conductivity associated with the silty clay loam soil matrix. The large value of hydraulic conductivity derived from the calibration is suggestive of macropore-dominated hillslope drainage. The corresponding value of active porosity agrees well with a published average value of the difference between total porosity and field capacity for a silty clay loam. ?? 1991.
Additional publication details
Development and application of a hillslope hydrologic model