Water Resources Research, February 2019, Vol.55(2), pp.990-1010
The improvement of process representations in hydrological models is often only driven by the modelers' knowledge and data availability. We present a comprehensive comparison between two hydrological models of different complexity that is developed to support (1) the understanding of the differences between model structures and (2) the identification of the observations needed for model assessment and improvement. The comparison is conducted on both space and time and by aggregating the outputs at different spatiotemporal scales. In the present study, mHM, a process‐based hydrological model, and ParFlow‐CLM, an integrated subsurface‐surface hydrological model, are used. The models are applied in a mesoscale catchment in Germany. Both models agree in the simulated river discharge at the outlet and the surface soil moisture dynamics, lending their supports for some model applications (drought monitoring). Different model sensitivities are, however, found when comparing evapotranspiration and soil moisture at different soil depths. The analysis supports the need of observations within the catchment for model assessment, but it indicates that different strategies should be considered for the different variables. Evapotranspiration measurements are needed at daily resolution across several locations, while highly resolved spatially distributed observations with lower temporal frequency are required for soil moisture. Finally, the results show the impact of the shallow groundwater system simulated by ParFlow‐CLM and the need to account for the related soil moisture redistribution. Our comparison strategy can be applied to other models types and environmental conditions to strengthen the dialog between modelers and experimentalists for improving process representations in Earth system models. A comprehensive approach is developed to compare states and fluxes simulated by different models at different spatial and temporal scales Different strategies depending on the model output are identified to discriminate between model structures and for modeling improvements The approach strengthens the dialog between modelers and experimentalists for improving process representation in hydrological models
Hydrological Models ; Assessments ; Monitoring Strategies ; Improvements
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.