815311 Simulation in vadose zone environment

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Brunetti, Giuseppe
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


The course focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of numerical simulation of transport processes in the vadose zone. Particular emphasis is given to water flow, root water uptake, and solute transport in variably saturated porous media under different forcing conditions. Core concepts of model calibration and inverse parameters' estimation are also elucidated.

The course is logically divided in theoretical lectures immediately followed by hands-on modeling tasks carried out using the well established hydrological model, HYDRUS-1D. The model is used to transfer theoretical concepts to practical applications, thus facilitating the learning process for the student. Modeling tasks mimic real conditions and includes: infiltration process after precipitation, evapotranspiration dynamics, non-reactive and reactive solute transport, root water and solute uptake, and model calibration.

Previous knowledge expected

Basic knowledge of soil physics is appreciated, though main concepts will be covered during the course.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Learning outcomes:
- Understanding and physical description of water and solutes movement in the vadose zone (unsaturated soil)
- Setup, parameterization, and application of numerical simulations of the soil water and solutes movement using HYDRUS.
- Knowledge of relevant parameters and properties with respect to the soil water balance
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.