06 Oct 2022
06 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

An ensemble of 48 physically perturbed model estimates of the 1/8° terrestrial water budget over the conterminous United States, 1980–2015

Hui Zheng1, Wenli Fei1,2, Zong-Liang Yang3, Jiangfeng Wei3,4, Long Zhao3,5, and Lingcheng Li3,6 Hui Zheng et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment Research for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
  • 3Department of Geological Sciences, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 78705, USA
  • 4Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters/Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education/International Joint Research Laboratory on Climate and Environment Change, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 5School of Geographical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400715, China
  • 6Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, 99354, USA

Abstract. Terrestrial water budget (TWB) data over large domains are of high interest for various hydrological applications. Spatiotemporally continuous and physically consistent estimations of TWB rely on land surface models (LSMs). As an augmentation of the operational North American Land Data Assimilation System Phase 2 (NLDAS‑2) four-LSM ensemble, this study presents a 48-member perturbed-physics ensemble configured from the Noah LSM with multi-physics options (Noah‑MP). The 48 Noah‑MP physics configurations are selected to give a representative cross-section of commonly used LSMs for parameterizing runoff, atmospheric surface layer turbulence, soil moisture limitation on photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance.

The ensemble simulated the 1980–2015 monthly TWB over the conterminous United States (CONUS) at a 1/8° spatial resolution. Simulation outputs include total evapotranspiration and its constituents (canopy evaporation, soil evaporation, and transpiration), runoff (the surface and subsurface components), as well as terrestrial water storage (snow water equivalent, four-layer soil water content from the surface down to 2 m, and the groundwater storage anomaly). This dataset is available at (Zheng et al., 2022). Evaluations carried out in this study and previous investigations show that the ensemble performs well in reproducing the observed terrestrial water storage, snow water equivalent, soil moisture, and runoff. Noah-MP complements the NLDAS models well, and adding Noah-MP consistently improves the NLDAS estimations of the above variables in most areas of CONUS. Besides, the perturbed-physics ensemble facilities the identification of model deficiencies. The parameterizations of shallow snow, lakes, and near-surface atmospheric turbulence should be improved in future model versions.

Hui Zheng et al.

Status: open (until 28 Dec 2022)

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Hui Zheng et al.

Data sets

An ensemble of 48 physically perturbed model estimates of the 1/8° terrestrial water budget over the conterminous United States, 1980–2015 Hui Zheng, Wenli Fei, Zong-Liang Yang, Jiangfeng Wei, Long Zhao, Lingcheng Li

Hui Zheng et al.


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Short summary
The information on evapotranspiration, runoff, and water storage in groundwater, snow, and soil is useful for monitoring and understanding the variability of water resources. An ensemble of spatially continuous estimates is generated here using a land surface model with consideration of the uncertainty associated with the model formulation.