Representing Reservoir Stratification in Land Surface and Earth System Models

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 13:40
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A one-dimensional reservoir stratification modeling has been developed as part of Model for Scale Adaptive River Transport (MOSART), which is the river transport model used in the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) and Community Earth System Model (CESM). Reservoirs play an important role in modulating the dynamic water, energy and biogeochemical cycles in the riverine system through nutrient sequestration and stratification. However, most earth system models include lake models that assume a simplified geometry featuring a constant depth and a constant surface area. As reservoir geometry has important effects on thermal stratification, we developed a new algorithm for deriving generic, stratified area-elevation-storage relationships that are applicable at regional and global scales using data from Global Reservoir and Dam database (GRanD). This new reservoir geometry dataset is then used to support the development of a reservoir stratification module within MOSART. The mixing of layers (energy and mass) in the reservoir is driven by eddy diffusion, vertical advection, and reservoir inflow and outflow. Upstream inflow into a reservoir is treated as an additional source/sink of energy, while downstream outflow represented a sink. Hourly atmospheric forcing from North American Land Assimilation System (NLDAS) Phase II and simulated daily runoff by ACME land component are used as inputs for the model over the contiguous United States for simulations between 2001-2010. The model is validated using selected observed temperature profile data in a number of reservoirs that are subject to various levels of regulation. The reservoir stratification module completes the representation of riverine mass and heat transfer in earth system models, which is a major step towards quantitative understanding of human influences on the terrestrial hydrological, ecological and biogeochemical cycles.

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