Modeling the hydrological patterns on Pantanal wetlands, Brazil
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
The Pantanal of Brazil is one of the world’s largest wetland regions. It is located within the 370,000 km2 Alto Paraguai Basin (BAP). In wet years almost 15% of the total area of the basin can be flooded (approximately 53,000 km2). The hydrological cycle is particularly important in the Pantanal in the transport of materials, and the transfer of energy between atmospheric, aquatic, and terrestrial systems. The INLAND (Integrated Land Surface Model) terrestrial ecosystem model is coupled with the THMB hydrological model to examine the hydrological balance and water dynamics for this region. The INLAND model is based on the IBIS dynamic vegetation model, while THMB represents the river, wetland and lake dynamics of the land surface. The modeled hydrological components are validated with surface and satellite-based estimates of precipitation (gridded observations from CRU v. 3.21, reanalysis data from ERA-interim, and TRMM estimates), evapotranspiration (MODIS and Land Flux-Eval dataset), total runoff (discharge data from ANA-Agência Nacional das Águas – Brazil), and terrestrial water storage (GRACE). Results show that the coupled hydrological model adequately represents the water cycle components, the river discharge and flooded areas. Model simulations are further used to study the influences of climatic variations on the hydrological components, river network, and the inundated areas in the Pantanal.