Constructive modeling of soil water dynamics on the basis of hydrogeophysical measurements

  • The complexity of the creation and the temporal evolution of soils is caused by diverse generators ranging over several spatial and temporal scales leading to a three dimensional time-variant network of corrugated pores whose characteristic length scale varies over several magnitudes. Consequently, the quantitative representation of soil hydraulic processes remains a challenge despite many years of intense research.
  • Quantitative soil hydrology is confronted with the problem of incomplete information at all levels ranging from the process description itself, which is only valid for low fluxes, the subsurface architecture with the corresponding material properties, which are not known a priori and near to impossible to determine directly at larger scales, to the boundary forcing, which is calculated on the basis of proxy-data and suffers from insufficient accuracy.
  • The objective of the project framing this dissertation is the investigation if and how experimentally accessible information can be merged into a physics-based quantitative description of field-scale soil hydrology.
  • Therefore, hydraulic experiments with a stepwise fluctuating water table, infiltration, and evaporation are designed and realized at the ASSESS test site. To analyze the suitability of this experimental data for a quantitative estimation of hydraulic material properties, a numerical model representing soil water movement and propagation of electromagnetic fields is set up. This numerical model is arranged in a modularized software package aggregating existing forward models and suitable parameter estimation algorithms.
  • The main focus of the dissertation is the integration of parameter estimation methods into this software package and the investigation of their suitability to ease the given challenges in quantitative soil hydrology. Therefore, the developed software package is applied on hydrogeophysical measurement data for the evaluation if and how parameters may be estimated given the problem of incomplete information at all levels.

List of Publications

Open access articles

  • Jaumann, S. and Roth, K.: Soil hydraulic material properties and layered architecture from time-lapse GPR, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2551-2573,, 2018.
  • Pan, X., Jaumann, S., Zhang, J., and Roth, K.: Brief communication: Estimation of hydraulic properties of active layers using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and 2D inverse hydrological modeling, The Cryosphere Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
  • Jaumann, S. and Roth, K.: Effect of unrepresented model errors on estimated soil hydraulic material properties, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 4301-4322,, 2017.
  • Bauser, H. H., Jaumann, S., Berg, D., and Roth, K.: EnKF with closed-eye period – towards a consistent aggregation of information in soil hydrology, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 4999-5014,, 2016.
  • Klenk, P., Jaumann, S., and Roth, K.: Monitoring infiltration processes with high-resolution surface-based Ground-Penetrating Radar, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, in review, 2015.
  • Klenk, P., Jaumann, S., and Roth, K.: Quantitative high-resolution observations of soil water dynamics in a complicated architecture using time-lapse ground-penetrating radar, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1125-1139,, 2015.
  • Klenk, P., Keicher, V., Jaumann, S., and Roth, K.: Current limits for high precision GPR measurements, in 'Proc. 15th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR2014), 734-738, 30 June-04 July 2014, Brussels, Belgium., 2014.


Conference and workshop contributions

  • Jaumann, S., Klenk, P., and Roth, K. (2015). Estimation of soil hydraulic properties based on time-lapse GPR measurements; Oral presentation, EGU2015-11197-1, EGU General Assembly, April 12 - April 17, 2015, Vienna, Austria.
  • Jaumann, S., Klenk, P., and Roth, K. (2015). Estimation of soil hydraulic properties based on time-lapse GPR measurements; Poster presentation, DPG Spring Meeting, March 23 - March 27, 2015, Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Jaumann, S., Buchner, J. S., Klenk, P., and Roth, K. (2014). Modeling of Soil Water Dynamics on the Basis of Hydrogeophysical Measurements; Poster presentation, EGU2014-7657-1, EGU General Assembly, April 25 - May 5, 2014, Vienna, Austria.
  • Jaumann, S., and Roth, K. (2013). A framework for constructive inversion of soil water dynamics on the basis of hydrogeophysical measurements; Poster presentation, Summer School Data Assimilation & Inverse Problems - From Weather Forecasting to Neuroscience, July 22 - 26, 2013, Reading, United Kingdom.


  • 2014-2017: Practical courses F52 and F53
  • 2013: Exercises for Modeling Terrestrial Systems