30 Mar 2020

30 Mar 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Presentation and discussion of the high resolution atmosphere-land surface subsurface simulation dataset of the virtual Neckar catchment for the period 2007–2015

Bernd Schalge1, Gabriele Baroni2, Barbara Haese3, Daniel Erdal4, Gernot Geppert5, Pablo Saavedra1, Vincent Haefliger1, Harry Vereecken6,7, Sabine Attinger8,9, Harald Kunstmann3,10, Olaf A. Cirpka4, Felix Ament11, Stefan Kollet6,7, Insa Neuweiler12, Harrie-Jan Hendricks Franssen6,7, and Clemens Simmer1,7 Bernd Schalge et al.
  • 1Institute for Geosciences, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • 2Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 3Institute of Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • 4Center for Applied Geoscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 5Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, England
  • 6Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Agrosphere (IBG-3), Jülich, Germany
  • 7Centre for High-Performance Scientific Computing (HPSC-TerrSys), Geoverbund ABC/J, Jülich, Germany
  • 8Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 9Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 10Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 11Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 12Hannover, Institut für Strömungsmechanik und Umweltphysik im Bauwesen, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

Abstract. Coupled numerical models, which simulate water and energy fluxes in the subsurface-land surface-atmosphere system in a physically consistent way are a prerequisite for the analysis and a better understanding of heat and matter exchange fluxes at compartmental boundaries and interdependencies of states across these boundaries. Complete state evolutions generated by such models may be regarded as a proxy of the real world, provided they are run at sufficiently high resolution and incorporate the most important processes. Such a virtual reality can be used to test hypotheses on the functioning of the coupled terrestrial system. Coupled simulation systems, however, face severe problems caused by the vastly different scales of the processes acting in and between the compartments of the terrestrial system, which also hinders comprehensive tests of their realism. We used the Terrestrial Systems Modeling Platform TerrSysMP, which couples the meteorological model COSMO, the land-surface model CLM, and the subsurface model ParFlow, to generate a virtual catchment for a regional terrestrial system mimicking the Neckar catchment in southwest Germany. Simulations for this catchment are made for the period 2007–2015, and at a spatial resolution of 400 m for the land surface and subsurface and 1.1 km for the atmosphere. Among a discussion of modelling challenges, the model performance is evaluated based on real observations covering several variables of the water cycle. We find that the simulated (virtual) catchment behaves in many aspects quite close to observations of the real Neckar catchment, e.g. concerning atmospheric boundary-layer height, precipitation, and runoff. But also discrepancies become apparent, both in the ability of the model to correctly simulate some processes which still need improvement such as overland flow, and in the realism of some observation operators like the satellite based soil moisture sensors. The whole raw dataset is available for interested users. The dataset described here is available via the CERA database (Schalge et al., 2020):

Bernd Schalge et al.

Status: open (extended)
Status: open (extended)
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Bernd Schalge et al.

Data sets

Virtual catchment simulation based on the Neckar region version 1 B. Schalge, G. Baroni, B. Haese, D. Erdal, G. Geppert, P. Saavedra, V. Haefliger, H. Vereecken, S. Attinger, H. Kunstmann, O. Cirpka, F. Ament, S. Kollet, I. Neuweiler, H.-J. Hendricks Franssen, and C. Simmer

Bernd Schalge et al.


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Short summary
In this study a nine year simulation of complete model output of a coupled atmosphere-land surface-subsurface model on the catchment scale is discussed. We used the Neckar catchment in SW-Germany as the basis of this simulation. Since the dataset includes the full model output it is not only possible to investigate model behaviour and interactions between the component models but also use it as a virtual truth for comparison of for example data assimilation experiments.