Revisiting European hydro-climatic events with a physically consistent groundwater-to-atmosphere regional terrestrial system model

Simulated water table depth (WTD) with fully coupled TSMP (3D ParFlow). Graphics by Carina Furusho-Percot.

Scientists of the Forschungszentrum Jülich analysed hydrometeorological extreme events using the integrated Terrestrial Systems Modelling Platform (TerrSysMP).  In TerrSysMP, the groundwater-to-atmosphere closure of the coupled water and energy cycles allows a physically consistent, dynamic equilibrium of groundwater dynamics with the land surface and atmospheric forcings by honoring two-way, non-linear feedback processes. Following the experiment protocol of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX), they examined results from ERA-Interim driven pan-European simulations. 

They found that TerrSysMP is able to better represent the succession of warm and cold seasons, particularly the intensity of heat waves, throughout the past decades comparing to other regional climate models.  

"This is an important development in our groundwater-to-atmosphere regional terrestrial system model” said Dr. Carina Furusho-Percot who leads the study. “Because this groundwater-coupled high resolution continental simulation complements and extends existing results from regional climate simulations. It opens a number of opportunities to analyse and understand short- and long-range feedback processes in the geo-ecosystem in space and time from groundwater to the top of the atmosphere.”

The study, that will be submitted for publication in a specialised journal on hydrology, contributes to the ESM project task team on European hydro-meteorological extremes.