A hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model for use in Earth system models

P. Hazenberg, Y. Fang, P. Broxton, D. Gochis, G. Y. Niu, J. D. Pelletier, P. A. Troch, X. Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hillslope-scale rainfall-runoff processes leading to a fast catchment response are not explicitly included in land surface models (LSMs) for use in earth system models (ESMs) due to computational constraints. This study presents a hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model (h3D) that couples a 1-D vertical soil column model with a lateral pseudo-2D saturated zone and overland flow model for use in ESMs. By representing vertical and lateral responses separately at different spatial resolutions, h3D is computationally efficient. The h3D model was first tested for three different hillslope planforms (uniform, convergent and divergent). We then compared h3D (with single and multiple soil columns) with a complex physically based 3-D model and a simple 1-D soil moisture model coupled with an unconfined aquifer (as typically used in LSMs). It is found that simulations obtained by the simple 1-D model vary considerably from the complex 3-D model and are not able to represent hillslope-scale variations in the lateral flow response. In contrast, the single soil column h3D model shows a much better performance and saves computational time by 2-3 orders of magnitude compared with the complex 3-D model. When multiple vertical soil columns are implemented, the resulting hydrological responses (soil moisture, water table depth, and base flow along the hillslope) from h3D are nearly identical to those predicted by the complex 3-D model, but still saves computational time. As such, the computational efficiency of the h3D model provides a valuable and promising approach to incorporating hillslope-scale hydrological processes into continental and global-scale ESMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWater Resources Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2015

Fingerprint

hillslope
soil column
land surface
soil moisture
hydrological response
unconfined aquifer
phreatic zone
overland flow
baseflow
water table

Keywords

  • Computational hydrology
  • Earth System Models
  • Hillslope hydrology
  • Hybrid-3D model
  • Unsaturated-saturated zone interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

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title = "A hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model for use in Earth system models",
abstract = "Hillslope-scale rainfall-runoff processes leading to a fast catchment response are not explicitly included in land surface models (LSMs) for use in earth system models (ESMs) due to computational constraints. This study presents a hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model (h3D) that couples a 1-D vertical soil column model with a lateral pseudo-2D saturated zone and overland flow model for use in ESMs. By representing vertical and lateral responses separately at different spatial resolutions, h3D is computationally efficient. The h3D model was first tested for three different hillslope planforms (uniform, convergent and divergent). We then compared h3D (with single and multiple soil columns) with a complex physically based 3-D model and a simple 1-D soil moisture model coupled with an unconfined aquifer (as typically used in LSMs). It is found that simulations obtained by the simple 1-D model vary considerably from the complex 3-D model and are not able to represent hillslope-scale variations in the lateral flow response. In contrast, the single soil column h3D model shows a much better performance and saves computational time by 2-3 orders of magnitude compared with the complex 3-D model. When multiple vertical soil columns are implemented, the resulting hydrological responses (soil moisture, water table depth, and base flow along the hillslope) from h3D are nearly identical to those predicted by the complex 3-D model, but still saves computational time. As such, the computational efficiency of the h3D model provides a valuable and promising approach to incorporating hillslope-scale hydrological processes into continental and global-scale ESMs.",
keywords = "Computational hydrology, Earth System Models, Hillslope hydrology, Hybrid-3D model, Unsaturated-saturated zone interaction",
author = "P. Hazenberg and Y. Fang and P. Broxton and D. Gochis and Niu, {G. Y.} and Pelletier, {J. D.} and Troch, {P. A.} and X. Zeng",
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T1 - A hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model for use in Earth system models

AU - Hazenberg, P.

AU - Fang, Y.

AU - Broxton, P.

AU - Gochis, D.

AU - Niu, G. Y.

AU - Pelletier, J. D.

AU - Troch, P. A.

AU - Zeng, X.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Hillslope-scale rainfall-runoff processes leading to a fast catchment response are not explicitly included in land surface models (LSMs) for use in earth system models (ESMs) due to computational constraints. This study presents a hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model (h3D) that couples a 1-D vertical soil column model with a lateral pseudo-2D saturated zone and overland flow model for use in ESMs. By representing vertical and lateral responses separately at different spatial resolutions, h3D is computationally efficient. The h3D model was first tested for three different hillslope planforms (uniform, convergent and divergent). We then compared h3D (with single and multiple soil columns) with a complex physically based 3-D model and a simple 1-D soil moisture model coupled with an unconfined aquifer (as typically used in LSMs). It is found that simulations obtained by the simple 1-D model vary considerably from the complex 3-D model and are not able to represent hillslope-scale variations in the lateral flow response. In contrast, the single soil column h3D model shows a much better performance and saves computational time by 2-3 orders of magnitude compared with the complex 3-D model. When multiple vertical soil columns are implemented, the resulting hydrological responses (soil moisture, water table depth, and base flow along the hillslope) from h3D are nearly identical to those predicted by the complex 3-D model, but still saves computational time. As such, the computational efficiency of the h3D model provides a valuable and promising approach to incorporating hillslope-scale hydrological processes into continental and global-scale ESMs.

AB - Hillslope-scale rainfall-runoff processes leading to a fast catchment response are not explicitly included in land surface models (LSMs) for use in earth system models (ESMs) due to computational constraints. This study presents a hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model (h3D) that couples a 1-D vertical soil column model with a lateral pseudo-2D saturated zone and overland flow model for use in ESMs. By representing vertical and lateral responses separately at different spatial resolutions, h3D is computationally efficient. The h3D model was first tested for three different hillslope planforms (uniform, convergent and divergent). We then compared h3D (with single and multiple soil columns) with a complex physically based 3-D model and a simple 1-D soil moisture model coupled with an unconfined aquifer (as typically used in LSMs). It is found that simulations obtained by the simple 1-D model vary considerably from the complex 3-D model and are not able to represent hillslope-scale variations in the lateral flow response. In contrast, the single soil column h3D model shows a much better performance and saves computational time by 2-3 orders of magnitude compared with the complex 3-D model. When multiple vertical soil columns are implemented, the resulting hydrological responses (soil moisture, water table depth, and base flow along the hillslope) from h3D are nearly identical to those predicted by the complex 3-D model, but still saves computational time. As such, the computational efficiency of the h3D model provides a valuable and promising approach to incorporating hillslope-scale hydrological processes into continental and global-scale ESMs.

KW - Computational hydrology

KW - Earth System Models

KW - Hillslope hydrology

KW - Hybrid-3D model

KW - Unsaturated-saturated zone interaction

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