Impacts of a groundwater scheme on hydroclimatological conditions over southern South America

J. Alejandro Martinez, Francina Dominguez, Gonzalo Miguez-Macho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

A sensitivity study of the impact of a groundwater scheme on hydrometeorological variables in coupled land-atmosphere simulations over southern South America is presented. It is found that shallow water tables in the groundwater scheme lead to reduced drainage and even upward capillary fluxes over parts of the central and southern La Plata basin. This leads to an increase in the simulated moisture in the root zone, which in turn produces an increase in evapotranspiration (ET) over the southern part of the domain, where ET is water limited. There is also a decrease in the near-surface temperature, in the range 0.5°-1.0°C. During the dry season, the increases in ET and relative humidity over the central La Plata coincide with an increase in precipitation downstream. Including groundwater leads to an increase in precipitation over parts of the central and southern La Plata basin during the early rainy season (October-December). The overall increase in ET and precipitation over the southern La Plata basin during the early rainy season is 13% and 10%, respectively. The additional precipitation comes from both an increase in the availability of atmospheric moisture when the groundwater scheme is used and its effect on the atmospheric instability. In the La Plata basin, including a representation of groundwater increases simulated precipitation and partially alleviates a warm and dry bias present in simulations without realistic subsurface hydrology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2959
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Atmosphere-land interaction
  • Land surface model
  • Precipitation
  • Soil moisture
  • Surface fluxes
  • Surface temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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