This title appears in the Scientific Report : 2015 

Optimality and inference in hydrology from entropy production considerations: synthetic hillslope numerical experiments
Kollet, Stefan (Corresponding author)
Agrosphäre; IBG-3
Hydrology and earth system sciences discussions, 12 (2015) 5, S. 5123 - 5149
Katlenburg-Lindau Soc. 2015
10.5194/hessd-12-5123-2015
Journal Article
Terrestrial Systems: From Observation to Prediction
OpenAccess
OpenAccess
Please use the identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/hessd-12-5123-2015 in citations.
Please use the identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/2128/9600 in citations.
In this study, entropy production optimization and inference principles are applied to a synthetic semi-arid hillslope in high-resolution, physics-based simulations. The results suggest that entropy or power is indeed maximized, because of the strong nonlinearity of variably saturated flow and competing processes related to soil moisture fluxes, the depletion of gradients, and the movement of a free water table. Thus, it appears that the maximum entropy production (MEP) principle may indeed be applicable to hydrologic systems. In the application to hydrologic system, the free water table constitutes an important degree of freedom in the optimization of entropy production and may also relate the theory to actual observations. In an ensuing analysis, an attempt is made to transfer the complex, "microscopic" hillslope model into a macroscopic model of reduced complexity using the MEP principle as an interference tool to obtain effective conductance coefficients and forces/gradients. The results demonstrate a new approach for the application of MEP to hydrologic systems and may form the basis for fruitful discussions and research in future.