Submitted as: model description paper
02 Jan 2023
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 02 Jan 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Linking global terrestrial and ocean biogeochemistry with process-based, coupled freshwater algae-nutrient-solid dynamics in LM3-FANSY v1.0

Minjin Lee, Charles A. Stock, John P. Dunne, and Elena Shevliakova

Abstract. Estimating global river solids, nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P), in both quantity and composition, is necessary for understanding the development and persistence of many harmful algal blooms and hypoxic events. This requires a comprehensive freshwater model that can resolve intertwined algae, solid, and nutrient dynamics, yet previous global watershed models do not mechanistically resolve instream biogeochemical processes. Here we develop a global, spatially explicit, process-based, Freshwater Algae, Nutrient, and Solid cycling and Yields (FANSY) model and incorporate it within the Land Model LM3. The resulting model, LM3-FANSY, explicitly resolves interactions between algae, N, P, and solid dynamics in rivers and lakes at 1 degree spatial and 30 minute temporal resolution. Simulated solids, N, and P in multiple forms (particulate/dissolved, organic/inorganic) agree well with measurement-based yield (kg km−2 yr−1), load (kt yr−1), and concentration (mg l−1) estimates across world major rivers. Furthermore, simulated global river loads of suspended solid, N, and P in different forms to the coastal ocean are consistent with published ranges. River N loads are estimated to be approximately equally distributed among forms with particulate organic, dissolved organic, and dissolved inorganic N accounting for 37 %, 34 %, and 30 % respectively. For river P load estimates, particulate P, which includes both organic and sorbed inorganic forms, is the most abundant form (58 %), followed by dissolved inorganic and organic P (32 % and 10 %). Analyses of model results and sensitivity to components, parameters, and inputs suggest that the fidelity of simulated river nutrient loads and N : P ratios with observation-based estimates could be improved markedly with better global estimates of nutrient inputs to rivers, including soil and litter runoff, wastewater, and weathering. Sensitivity analyses further demonstrate the role of algal dynamics in controlling the ratios of inorganic and organic nutrient forms. LM3-FANSY can serve as a baseline for linking global terrestrial and ocean biogeochemistry in next generation Earth System Models aimed at understanding the effects of terrestrial perturbations on coastal eutrophication under unprecedented socioeconomic and climate changes, where novel conditions challenge empirical approaches. Continued model enhancements will focus on the inclusion of terrestrial P dynamics, freshwater carbon and alkalinity dynamics, and anthropogenic hydraulic controls.

Minjin Lee 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-2022-236', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 May 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', minjin lee, 19 Aug 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2022-236', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Jun 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', minjin lee, 18 Aug 2023

Minjin Lee et al.


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Short summary
Modeling global freshwater solid and nutrient loads, in both magnitude and form, is imperative for understanding emerging eutrophication problems. Such efforts, however, have been challenged by the difficulty of balancing details of freshwater biogeochemical processes with limited knowledge, input and validation datasets. Here we develop a global freshwater model that resolves intertwined algae, solid, and nutrient dynamics and provide performance assessment against measurement-based estimates.