RichardsFOAM

An open source massively parallel solver for Richards equation: mechanistic modelling of water fluxes at the watershed scale In this paper we present a massively parallel open source solver for Richards equation, named the RichardsFOAM solver. This solver has been developed in the framework of the open source generalist computational fluid dynamics tool box OpenFOAM$^{circledR}$  and is capable to deal with large scale problems in both space and time. The source code for RichardsFOAM may be downloaded from the CPC program library website. It exhibits good parallel performances (up to $sim 90%$ parallel efficiency with 1024 processors both in strong and weak scaling), and the conditions required for obtaining such performances are analysed and discussed. These performances enable the mechanistic modelling of water fluxes at the scale of experimental watersheds (up to few square kilometres of surface area), and on time scales of decades to a century. Such a solver can be useful in various applications, such as environmental engineering for long term transport of pollutants in soils, water engineering for assessing the impact of land settlement on water resources, or in the study of weathering processes on the watersheds.