NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
A Catchment-Based Approach to Modeling Land Surface Processes in a GCMA new strategy for modeling the land surface component of the climate system is described. The strategy is motivated by an arguable deficiency in most state-of-the-art land surface models (LSMs), namely the disproportionately higher emphasis given to the formulation of one-dimensional, vertical physics relative to the treatment of horizontal heterogeneity in surface properties -- particularly subgrid soil moisture variability and its effects on runoff generation. The new strategy calls for the partitioning of the continental surface into a mosaic of hydrologic catchments, delineated through analysis of high-resolution surface elevation data. The effective "grid" used for the land surface is therefore not specified by the overlying atmospheric grid. Within each catchment, the variability of soil moisture is related to characteristics of the topography and to three bulk soil moisture variables through a well-established model of catchment processes. This modeled variability allows the partitioning of the catchment into several areas representing distinct hydrological regimes, wherein distinct (regime-specific) evaporation and runoff parameterizations are applied. Care is taken to ensure that the deficiencies of the catchment model in regions of little to moderate topography are minimized.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Koster, Randal D. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Suarez, Max J. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Ducharne, Agnes (UMR Paris France)
Stieglitz, Marc (Columbia Univ. Palisades, NY United States)
Kumar, Praveen (Illinois Univ. Urbana-Champaign, IL United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 6, 2000
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

NameType 20000034093.pdf STI