PARAMETER CALIBRATION OF MINI-LEO HILL SLOPE MODEL
To begin a numerical model of the hill slope was created using CATchment Hydrology (CATHY). The model was then brought to an initial steady state by applying a rainfall event of 5mm/day for 180 days. Then a specific rainfall experiment of alternating intensities was applied to the model. Next, a parameter calibration was conducted, to fit the model to the observed data, by changing soil parameters individually. The parameters of the best fitting calibration were taken to be the most representative of those present within the mini-LEO hill slope.
Our model concluded that heterogeneities had indeed arisen as a result of the rainfall event, resulting in a lower hydraulic conductivity downslope. The lower hydraulic conductivity downslope in turn caused in an increased storage of water and a decrease in seepage flow compared to homogeneous models. This shows that the hydraulic processes acting within a landscape can change the very characteristics of the landscape itself, namely the permeability and conductivity of the soil. In the future results from the excavation of soil in mini-LEO can be compared to the models results to improve the model and validate its findings.