Submitted as: model evaluation paper
07 Jul 2022
Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 07 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Continental-scale evaluation of a fully distributed coupled land surface and groundwater model ParFlow-CLM (v3.6.0) over Europe

Bibi S. Naz1, Wendy Sharples2, Yueling Ma1, Klaus Goergen1, and Stefan Kollet1 Bibi S. Naz et al.
  • 1Institute of Bio- and Geosciences Agrosphere (IBG-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
  • 2Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract. High-resolution large-scale predictions of hydrologic states and fluxes are important for many multi-scale applications including water resource management. However, many of the existing global to continental scale hydrological models are applied at coarse resolution and or neglect lateral surface and groundwater flow, thereby not capturing smaller scale hydrologic processes. Applications of high-resolution and more complex models are often limited to watershed scales, neglecting the mesoscale climate effects on the water cycle. We implemented an integrated, physically-based coupled land surface groundwater model; Parflow-CLM version 3.6.0, over a pan-European model domain at 0.0275° ( 3 km) resolution. The model simulates three-dimensional variably saturated groundwater flow solving Richards equation and overland flow with a two-dimensional kinematic wave approximation, which is fully integrated with land surface exchange processes. A comprehensive evaluation of hydrologic states and fluxes, resulting from a 10 year (1997–2006) model simulation, was performed using in-situ and remote sensing observations including discharge, surface soil moisture (SM), evapotranspiration (ET), snow water equivalent and water table depth. Overall, the uncalibrated PF-CLM-EU3km model shows good agreement in simulating river discharge for 176 gauging stations across Europe. Comparison with satellite-based datasets of SM shows that PF-CLM-EU3km performs well in semi-arid and arid regions, but simulates overall higher SM in humid and cold regions. Comparisons with Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model(GLEAM) and Global Land Surface Satellite (GLASS) ET datasets show no significant differences, both, across the European domain (on average the difference is -0.09 and 0.30 mm d-1 for GLEAM and GLASS products, respectively), and within regions (R > 0.9). The large-scale high-resolution setup forms a basis for future studies, demonstrating the added value of capturing heterogeneities for improved water and energy flux simulations in physically-based fully distributed hydrologic models over very large model domains. This study also provides an evaluation reference for climate change impact projections and a climatology for hydrological forecasting, considering the effects of lateral surface and groundwater flows.

Bibi S. Naz et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-173', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2022-173', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 Aug 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on gmd-2022-173', Anonymous Referee #3, 05 Aug 2022
  • RC4: 'Comment on gmd-2022-173', Stefano Ferraris, 23 Aug 2022

Bibi S. Naz et al.

Model code and software

ParFlow Version 3.6.0 Simth et al., 2019

Bibi S. Naz et al.


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Short summary
It is challenging to apply a high-resolution integrated land surface and groundwater model over large spatial scales. In this paper, we demonstrate the application of such a model over a pan-European domain at 3 km resolution and perform an extensive evaluation of simulated water states and fluxes by comparing with in-situ and satellite data. This study can serve as a benchmark and baseline for future studies of climate change impact projections and for hydrological forecasting.