Seasonal evaluation of the land surface sheme HTESSEL against remote sensing derived energy fluxes of the Transdanubian regions in Hungary

E.L. Wipfler, K. Metselaar, J.C. van Dam, R.A. Feddes, E. van Meijgaard, L.H. van Ulft, B. van den Hurk, S.J. Zwart, W.G.M. Bastiaanssen

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    Abstract

    The skill of the land surface model HTESSEL is assessed to reproduce evaporation in response to land surface characteristics and atmospheric forcing, both being spatially variable. Evaporation estimates for the 2005 growing season are inferred from satellite observations of the Western part of Hungary and compared to model outcomes. Atmospheric forcings are obtained from a hindcast run with the Regional Climate Model RACMO2. Although HTESSEL slightly underpredicts the seasonal evaporative fraction as compared to satellite estimates, the mean, 10th and 90th percentile of this variable are of the same magnitude as the satellite observations. The initial water as stored in the soil and snow layer does not have a significant effect on the statistical properties of the evaporative fraction. However, the spatial distribution of the initial soil and snow water significantly affects the spatial distribution of the calculated evaporative fraction and the models ability to reproduce evaporation correctly in low precipitation areas in the considered region. HTESSEL performs weaker in dryer areas. In Western Hungary these areas are situated in the Danube valley, which is partly covered by irrigated cropland and which also may be affected by shallow groundwater. Incorporating (lateral) groundwater flow and irrigation, processes that are not included now, may improve HTESSELs ability to predict evaporation correctly. Evaluation of the model skills using other test areas and larger evaluation periods is needed to confirm the results.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1257-1271
    JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
    Volume15
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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    Keywords

    • land surface
    • evapotranspiration
    • remote sensing
    • climatic change
    • models
    • hungary
    • terrestrial water storage
    • era-40 reanalysis
    • balance closure
    • climate models
    • field
    • atmosphere
    • hydrology
    • impact
    • basin

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