Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2022-4
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2022-4
Submitted as: model evaluation paper
21 Mar 2022
Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 21 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Spatial heterogeneity effects on land surface modeling of water and energy partitioning

Lingcheng Li, Gautam Bisht, and Ruby Leung Lingcheng Li et al.
  • Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA

Abstract. Understanding the influence of land surface heterogeneity on surface water and energy fluxes is crucial for modeling earth system variability and change. This study investigates the effects of four dominant heterogeneity sources on land surface modeling, including atmospheric forcing (ATM), soil properties (SOIL), land use and land cover (LULC), and topography (TOPO). Our analysis focused on their impacts on the partitioning of precipitation (P) into evapotranspiration (ET) and runoff (R), partitioning of net radiation into sensible heat and latent heat, and corresponding water and energy fluxes. A set of 16 experiments were performed over the continental U.S. (CONUS) using the E3SM land model (ELMv1) with different combinations of heterogeneous and homogeneous datasets. The Sobol' total sensitivity analysis is utilized to quantify the relative importance of the four heterogeneity sources. Results show that ATM and LULC are the most dominant heterogeneity sources in determining spatial variability of water and energy partitioning, and their heterogeneity effects are complementary both spatially and temporally. The overall impacts of SOIL and TOPO are negligible, except TOPO dominates the spatial variability of R/P across the transitional climate zone between the arid western and humid eastern CONUS. Comparison with ERA5-Land reanalysis reveals that accounting for more heterogeneity sources improves the simulated spatial variability of water and energy fluxes. An additional set of 13 experiments identified the most critical components within the heterogeneity sources: precipitation, temperature and longwave radiation for ATM, soil texture and soil color for SOIL, and maximum fractional saturated area parameter for TOPO.

Lingcheng Li 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-2022-4', Hui Zheng, 23 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2022-4', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Apr 2022
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-4', Juan Antonio Añel, 25 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on CEC1', Lingcheng Li, 26 Apr 2022
      • CEC2: 'Reply on AC1', Juan Antonio Añel, 26 Apr 2022

Lingcheng Li et al.

Lingcheng Li et al.

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Short summary
Land surface heterogeneity plays a critical role in the terrestrial water, energy, and biogeochemical cycles. Our study systematically quantified the effects of four dominant heterogeneity sources on water and energy partitioning. We found that atmospheric forcing and land use land cover are the most dominant heterogeneity sources in determining spatial variability of water and energy partitioning. Our findings can help prioritize the future development of land surface models.