Sunday, August 30, 2015

Using Indicator Files as input to ParFlow

A common question is how to get spatially-varying input, such as soil types, into ParFlow. Though there are a number of ways to do this, a most common approach is to use an indicator pfb file with integer values for each land coverage. This is what we've done for the coupled model where we have different land surface types (such as from IGBP) distributed over the ground surface. An example of this type of coverage is in this paper.

What we do is write the indicator value to the corresponding spatial grid location in a pfb file, then load this file in. An indicator field is a .pfb file with integer numbers for every cell in the computational domain. An example in two-dimensions might look as follows.


These are mapped to geometry names within the parflow .tcl input file and the Tcl/TK input script would look something like:

pfset GeomInput.indinput.InputType IndicatorField
pfset GeomInput.indinput.GeomNames "field channel subsurf"
pfset Geom.indinput.FileName "my_indicator_input.pfb"

pfset GeomInput.field.Value 1
pfset GeomInput.channel.Value 2
pfset GeomInput.subsurf.Value 3
You then can use the names to assign properties, say permeability

pfset Geom.Perm.Names "field channel subsurf"

pfset Geom.field.Perm.Type Constant
pfset Geom.field.Perm.Value 0.2

pfset Geom.channel.Perm.Type Constant
pfset Geom.channel.Perm.Value 0.001

pfset Geom.subsurf.Perm.Type Constant
pfset Geom.subsurf.Perm.Value 1.0
This will assign these parameter values anywhere these indicators are located in the file. You need to distribute the file before reading it in. To write the file you can modify the FORTRAN code pf_write.f90 located in the /helper_codes directory or use another program to write an ascii file and then use pftools to convert it to a .pfb file.

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