Do surface lateral flows matter for data assimilation of soil moisture observations into hyperresolution land models?
- 1Institute of Engineering Innovation, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
- 2Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract. It is expected that hyperresolution land modeling substantially innovates the simulation of terrestrial water, energy, and carbon cycles. The major advantage of hyperresolution land models against conventional one-dimensional land surface models is that hyperresolution land models can explicitly simulatelateral water flows. Despite many efforts on data assimilation of hydrological observations into those hyperresolution land models, how and when surface water flows driven by local topography matter for data assimilation of soil moisture observations has not been fully clarified. Here I perform two minimalist synthetic experiments where soil moisture observations are assimilated into an integrated surface-groundwater land model by an ensemble Kalman filter. A horizontal background error covariance provided by overland flows is important to adjust the unobserved state and parameter variables. However, the non-Gaussianity of the background error provided by the nonlinearity of a topography-driven surface flow harms the performance of data assimilation. It is difficult to efficiently constrain model states at the edge of the area where the topography-driven surface flow reaches by linear-Gaussian filters, which brings the new challenge in land data assimilation for hyperresolution land models. This study highlights the importance of surface lateral flows in hydrological data assimilation.
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