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Open Access Publications from the University of California

18-year land-surface hydrology model simulations for a midlatitude grassland catchment in Valdai, Russia

  • Author(s): Schlosser, CA
  • Robock, A
  • Vinnikov, KY
  • Speranskaya, NA
  • Xue, Y
  • et al.

Off-line simulations of improved bucket hydrology and Simplified Simple Biosphere (SSiB) models are performed for a grassland vegetation catchment region, located at the Valdai water-balance research station in Russia, forced by observed meteorological and simulated actinometric data for 1966-83. Evaluation of the model simulations is performed using observations of total soil moisture in the top 1 m, runoff, evaporation, snow depth, and water-table depth made within the catchment. The Valdai study demonstrates that using only routine meteorological measurements, long-term simulations of land-surface schemes suitable for model evaluation can be made. The Valdai dataset is available for use in the evaluation of other land-surface schemes. Both the SSiB and the bucket models reproduce the observed hydrology averaged over the simulation period (1967-83) and its interannual variability reasonably well. However, the models' soil moisture interannual variability is too low during the fall and winter when compared to observations. In addition, some discrepancies in the models' seasonal behavior with respect to observations are seen. The models are able to reproduce extreme hydrological events to some degree, but some inconsistencies in the model mechanisms are seen. The bucket model's soil-moisture variability is limited by its inability to rise above its prescribed field capacity for the case where the observed water table rises into the top 1-m layer of soil, which can lead to erroneous simulations of evaporation and runoff. SSiB's snow depth simulations are generally too low due to high evaporation from the snow surface. SSiB typically produces drainage out of its bottom layer during the summer, which appears inconsistent to the runoff observations of the catchment.

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