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https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1025
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1025
18 Apr 2024
 | 18 Apr 2024

A first attempt to model global hydrology at hyper-resolution

Barry van Jaarsveld, Niko Wanders, Edwin H. Sutanudjaja, Jannis Hoch, Bram Droppers, Joren Janzing, Rens L. P. H. van Beek, and Marc F. P. Bierkens

Abstract. Global hydrological models are one of the key tools that can help meet the needs of stakeholders and policy makers when water management strategies and policies are developed. The primary objective of this paper is therefore to establish a first of its kind, truly global hyper-resolution hydrological model that spans a multiple-decade period (1985–2019). To achieve this, two key limitations are addressed, namely the lack of high resolution meteorological data and insufficient representation of lateral movement of snow and ice. Thus a novel meteorological downscaling procedure that better incorporates fine-scale topographic climate drivers is incorporated, and a snow module capable of lateral movement of frozen water resembling glaciers, avalanches and wind movement is included. We compare this global 30 arc-seconds version of PCR-GLOBWB to previously published 5 arc-minutes and 30 arc-minutes versions by evaluating simulated river discharge, snow cover, soil moisture, land surface evaporation, and total water storage against observations. We show that hyper-resolution provides a more accurate simulation of river discharge, this is especially true for smaller catchments. We highlight that although global hyper-resolution modelling is possible with current computational resources and that hyper-resolution modelling results in more realistic representations of the hydrological cycle; our results suggest that global hydrological modelling still needs to incorporate landcover heterogeneity at the sub-grid scale and include processes relevant at the kilometre scale in search of better predictive capacity to provide more accurate estimates of soil moisture and evaporation fluxes.

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Barry van Jaarsveld, Niko Wanders, Edwin H. Sutanudjaja, Jannis Hoch, Bram Droppers, Joren Janzing, Rens L. P. H. van Beek, and Marc F. P. Bierkens

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1025', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1025', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 May 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1025', Anonymous Referee #3, 11 Jun 2024
Barry van Jaarsveld, Niko Wanders, Edwin H. Sutanudjaja, Jannis Hoch, Bram Droppers, Joren Janzing, Rens L. P. H. van Beek, and Marc F. P. Bierkens
Barry van Jaarsveld, Niko Wanders, Edwin H. Sutanudjaja, Jannis Hoch, Bram Droppers, Joren Janzing, Rens L. P. H. van Beek, and Marc F. P. Bierkens

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Short summary
Policy makers use global hydrological models to develop water management strategies and policies. However, if these models provided information at higher resolutions that would be better. We present a first of its kind, truly global hyper-resolution model and show that hyper-resolution brings about better estimates of river discharge and this is especially true for smaller catchments. Our results also suggest future hyper-resolution model need to include more detailed landcover information.