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Title: Development and evaluation of a variably saturated flow model in the global E3SM Land Model (ELM) version 1.0

Abstract

Improving global-scale model representations of near-surface soil moisture and groundwater hydrology is important for accurately simulating terrestrial processes and predicting climate change effects on water resources. Most existing land surface models, including the default E3SM Land Model (ELMv0),which we modify here, routinely employ different formulations for water transport in the vadose and phreatic zones. Clark et al. (2015) identified a variably saturated Richards equation flow model as an important capability for improving simulation of coupled soil moisture and shallow groundwater dynamics. In this work, we developed the Variably Saturated Flow Model (VSFM)in ELMv1 to unify the treatment of soil hydrologic processes in the unsaturated and saturated zones. VSFM was tested on three benchmark problems and results were evaluated against observations and an existing benchmark model (PFLOTRAN). The ELMv1-VSFM's subsurface drainage parameter, f d, was calibrated to match an observationally constrained and spatially explicit global water table depth (WTD) product. Optimal spatially explicit f d values were obtained for 79% of global 1.9° × 2.5° grid cells, while the remaining 21% of global grid cells had predicted WTD deeper than the observationally constrained estimate. Comparison with predictions using the default f d value demonstrated that calibration significantly improved predictions, primarily by allowingmore » much deeper WTDs. Model evaluation using the International Land Model Benchmarking package (ILAMB)showed that improvements in WTD predictions did not degrade model skill for any other metrics. We evaluated the computational performance of the VSFM model and found that the model is about 30% more expensive than the default ELMv0 with an optimal processor layout. The modular software design of VSFM not only provides flexibility to configure the model for a range of problem setups but also allows for building the model independently of the ELM code, thus enabling straightforward testing of the model's physics against other models.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1563965
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Geoscientific Model Development (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1991-9603
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Bisht, Gautam, Riley, William J., Hammond, Glenn E., and Lorenzetti, David M. Development and evaluation of a variably saturated flow model in the global E3SM Land Model (ELM) version 1.0. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.5194/gmd-11-4085-2018.
Bisht, Gautam, Riley, William J., Hammond, Glenn E., & Lorenzetti, David M. Development and evaluation of a variably saturated flow model in the global E3SM Land Model (ELM) version 1.0. United States. doi:10.5194/gmd-11-4085-2018.
Bisht, Gautam, Riley, William J., Hammond, Glenn E., and Lorenzetti, David M. Thu . "Development and evaluation of a variably saturated flow model in the global E3SM Land Model (ELM) version 1.0". United States. doi:10.5194/gmd-11-4085-2018. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1563965.
@article{osti_1563965,
title = {Development and evaluation of a variably saturated flow model in the global E3SM Land Model (ELM) version 1.0},
author = {Bisht, Gautam and Riley, William J. and Hammond, Glenn E. and Lorenzetti, David M.},
abstractNote = {Improving global-scale model representations of near-surface soil moisture and groundwater hydrology is important for accurately simulating terrestrial processes and predicting climate change effects on water resources. Most existing land surface models, including the default E3SM Land Model (ELMv0),which we modify here, routinely employ different formulations for water transport in the vadose and phreatic zones. Clark et al. (2015) identified a variably saturated Richards equation flow model as an important capability for improving simulation of coupled soil moisture and shallow groundwater dynamics. In this work, we developed the Variably Saturated Flow Model (VSFM)in ELMv1 to unify the treatment of soil hydrologic processes in the unsaturated and saturated zones. VSFM was tested on three benchmark problems and results were evaluated against observations and an existing benchmark model (PFLOTRAN). The ELMv1-VSFM's subsurface drainage parameter, fd, was calibrated to match an observationally constrained and spatially explicit global water table depth (WTD) product. Optimal spatially explicit fd values were obtained for 79% of global 1.9° × 2.5° grid cells, while the remaining 21% of global grid cells had predicted WTD deeper than the observationally constrained estimate. Comparison with predictions using the default fd value demonstrated that calibration significantly improved predictions, primarily by allowing much deeper WTDs. Model evaluation using the International Land Model Benchmarking package (ILAMB)showed that improvements in WTD predictions did not degrade model skill for any other metrics. We evaluated the computational performance of the VSFM model and found that the model is about 30% more expensive than the default ELMv0 with an optimal processor layout. The modular software design of VSFM not only provides flexibility to configure the model for a range of problem setups but also allows for building the model independently of the ELM code, thus enabling straightforward testing of the model's physics against other models.},
doi = {10.5194/gmd-11-4085-2018},
journal = {Geoscientific Model Development (Online)},
issn = {1991-9603},
number = 10,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Comparison of VSFM simulated pressure profile (blue line) against data (red square) reported in Celia et al. (1990) at time= 24 h for infiltration in a dry soil column; Initial pressure condition is shown by green line.

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Groundwater use for irrigation – a global inventory
    journal, January 2010

    • Siebert, S.; Burke, J.; Faures, J. M.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 14, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-14-1863-2010

    Human impacts on terrestrial hydrology: climate change versus pumping and irrigation
    journal, October 2012


    Coupling a three-dimensional subsurface flow and transport model with a land surface model to simulate stream–aquifer–land interactions (CP v1.0)
    journal, January 2017

    • Bisht, Gautam; Huang, Maoyi; Zhou, Tian
    • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 10, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-10-4539-2017

    Recommended table for the density of water between 0  C and 40  C based on recent experimental reports
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    Predicting land-use change and its impact on the groundwater system of the Kleine Nete catchment, Belgium
    journal, January 2008

    • Dams, J.; Woldeamlak, S. T.; Batelaan, O.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 12, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-12-1369-2008

    A model for hydraulic redistribution incorporating coupled soil-root moisture transport
    journal, January 2008


    Shallow groundwater effect on land surface temperature and surface energy balance under bare soil conditions: modeling and description
    journal, January 2012

    • Alkhaier, F.; Flerchinger, G. N.; Su, Z.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 16, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-16-1817-2012

    The carbon budget of terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia over the last two decades
    journal, January 2012


    Quantifying the impact of groundwater depth on evapotranspiration in a semi-arid grassland region
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    • Soylu, M. E.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Lenters, J. D.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 15, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-15-787-2011

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    • Bisht, Gautam; Riley, William J.
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