Articles | Volume 2, issue 2/3
30 Sep 1998
30 Sep 1998

Modelling root water uptake in a complex land surface scheme coupled to a GCM

P. de Rosnay and J. Polcher

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to improve the representation of root water uptake in the land surface scheme SECHIBA coupled to the LMD General Circulation Model (GCM). Root water uptake mainly results from the interaction between soil moisture and root profiles. Firstly, one aspect of the soil hydrology in SECHIBA is changed: it is shown that increasing the soil water storage capacity leads to a reduction in the frequency of soil water drought, but enhances the mean evapotranspiration. Secondly, the representation of the soil-vegetation interaction is improved by allowing a different root profile for each type of vegetation. The interaction between sub-grid scale variabilities in soil moisture and vegetation is also studied. The approach consists of allocating a separate soil water column to each vegetation type, thereby 'tiling' the grid square. However, the possibility of choosing the degree of soil moisture spatial heterogeneity is retained. These enhancements of the land surface system are compared within a number of GCM experiments.