Evaluating LSM-Based Water Budgets over a West African Basin Assisted with a River Routing Scheme

Augusto C. V. Getirana CNRM-GAME, Météo-France, Toulouse, France

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Aaron Boone CNRM-GAME, Météo-France, Toulouse, France

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Christophe Peugeot Hydrosciences, Montpellier, France

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Abstract

Within the framework of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) Land Surface Model Intercomparison Project phase 2 (ALMIP-2), this study evaluates the water balance simulated by the Interactions between Soil, Biosphere, and Atmosphere (ISBA) over the upper Ouémé River basin, in Benin, using a mesoscale river routing scheme (RRS). The RRS is based on the nonlinear Muskingum–Cunge method coupled with two linear reservoirs that simulate the time delay of both surface runoff and base flow that are produced by land surface models. On the basis of the evidence of a deep water-table recharge in that region, a reservoir representing the deep-water infiltration (DWI) is introduced. The hydrological processes of the basin are simulated for the 2005–08 AMMA field campaign period during which rainfall and streamflow data were intensively collected over the study area. Optimal RRS parameter sets were determined for three optimization experiments that were performed using daily streamflow at five gauges within the basin. Results demonstrate that the RRS simulates streamflow at all gauges with relative errors varying from −20% to 3% and Nash–Sutcliffe coefficients varying from 0.62 to 0.90. DWI varies from 24% to 67% of the base flow as a function of the subbasin. The relatively simple reservoir DWI approach is quite robust, and further improvements would likely necessitate more complex solutions (e.g., considering seasonality and soil type in ISBA); thus, such modifications are recommended for future studies. Although the evaluation shows that the simulated streamflows are generally satisfactory, further field investigations are necessary to confirm some of the model assumptions.

Current affiliation: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Corresponding author address: Augusto Getirana, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20771. E-mail: augusto.getirana@nasa.gov

Abstract

Within the framework of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) Land Surface Model Intercomparison Project phase 2 (ALMIP-2), this study evaluates the water balance simulated by the Interactions between Soil, Biosphere, and Atmosphere (ISBA) over the upper Ouémé River basin, in Benin, using a mesoscale river routing scheme (RRS). The RRS is based on the nonlinear Muskingum–Cunge method coupled with two linear reservoirs that simulate the time delay of both surface runoff and base flow that are produced by land surface models. On the basis of the evidence of a deep water-table recharge in that region, a reservoir representing the deep-water infiltration (DWI) is introduced. The hydrological processes of the basin are simulated for the 2005–08 AMMA field campaign period during which rainfall and streamflow data were intensively collected over the study area. Optimal RRS parameter sets were determined for three optimization experiments that were performed using daily streamflow at five gauges within the basin. Results demonstrate that the RRS simulates streamflow at all gauges with relative errors varying from −20% to 3% and Nash–Sutcliffe coefficients varying from 0.62 to 0.90. DWI varies from 24% to 67% of the base flow as a function of the subbasin. The relatively simple reservoir DWI approach is quite robust, and further improvements would likely necessitate more complex solutions (e.g., considering seasonality and soil type in ISBA); thus, such modifications are recommended for future studies. Although the evaluation shows that the simulated streamflows are generally satisfactory, further field investigations are necessary to confirm some of the model assumptions.

Current affiliation: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Corresponding author address: Augusto Getirana, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20771. E-mail: augusto.getirana@nasa.gov
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