Development of a simple groundwater model for use in climate models and evaluation with Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment data

Guo-Yue Niu, Zong Liang Yang, Robert E. Dickinson, Lindsey E. Gulden, Hua Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

299 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Groundwater interacts with soil moisture through the exchanges of water between the unsaturated soil and its underlying aquifer under gravity and capillary forces. Despite its importance, groundwater is not explicitly represented in climate models. This paper developed a simple groundwater model (SIMGM) by representing recharge and discharge processes of the water storage in an unconfined aquifer, which is added as a single integration element below the soil of a land surface model. We evaluated the model against the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) terrestrial water storage change (ΔS) data. The modeled total water storage (including unsaturated soil water and groundwater) change agrees fairly well with GRACE estimates. The anomaly of the modeled groundwater storage explains most of the GRACE ΔS anomaly in most river basins where the water storage is not affected by snow water or frozen soil. For this reason, the anomaly of the modeled water table depth agrees well with that converted from the GRACE ΔS in most of the river basins. We also investigated the impacts of groundwater dynamics on soil moisture and evapotranspiration through the comparison of SIMGM to an additional model run using gravitational free drainage (FD) as the model's lower boundary condition. SIMGM produced much wetter soil profiles globally and up to 16% more annual evapotranspiration than FD, most obviously in arid-to-wet transition regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD07103
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume112
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Climate models
GRACE
climate models
ground water
climate
Groundwater
climate modeling
Gravitation
recovery
gravitation
Recovery
groundwater
Water
evaluation
soils
water storage
water
Experiments
evapotranspiration
Soils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography

Cite this

Development of a simple groundwater model for use in climate models and evaluation with Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment data. / Niu, Guo-Yue; Yang, Zong Liang; Dickinson, Robert E.; Gulden, Lindsey E.; Su, Hua.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 112, No. 7, D07103, 16.04.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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