Upscaling a catchment-scale ecohydrology model for regional-scale earth system modeling
Friday, 19 December 2014: 2:10 PM
With a focus on the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW), BioEarth is an Earth System Model (EaSM) currently in development that explores the interactions between coupled C:N:H2O dynamics and resource management actions at the regional scale. Capturing coupled biogeochemical processes within EaSMs like BioEarth is important for exploring the response of the land surface to changes in climate and resource management actions; information that is important for shaping decisions that promote sustainable use of our natural resources. However, many EaSM frameworks do not adequately represent landscape-scale (< 1 km) spatial heterogeneity that influences land surface response, as relatively coarse resolution simulations (> 10 km) are necessitated by computational limitations. Spatial heterogeneity in a landscape arises due to spatial differences in underlying soil and vegetation properties that control moisture, energy and nutrient fluxes; as well as differences that arise due to spatially-organized connections that may drive an ecohydrologic response by the land surface. While many land surface models used in EaSM frameworks capture the first type of heterogeneity, few account for the influence of lateral connectivity on land surface processes. This type of connectivity can be important when considering soil moisture and nutrient redistribution. The RHESSys model is utilized by BioEarth to enable a “bottom-up” approach that preserves fine spatial-scale sensitivities and lateral connectivity that may be important for coupled C:N:H2O dynamics over larger scales. RHESSys is a distributed eco-hydrologic model that was originally developed to run at relatively fine but computationally intensive spatial resolutions over small catchments. The objective of this presentation is to describe two developments to enable implementation of RHESSys over the PNW. 1) RHESSys is being adapted for BioEarth to allow for moderately coarser resolutions and the flexibility to capture both types of heterogeneity at biome-specific spatial scales. 2) A Kepler workflow is utilized to enable RHESSys implementation over the PNW and to provide linkages to other models in the BioEarth framework.