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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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  14 Jul 2020

14 Jul 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A multi-sourced assessment of the spatio-temporal dynamic of soil saturation in the MARINE flash flood model

Judith Eeckman1, Hélène Roux1, Audrey Douinot2, Bertrand Bonan3, and Clément Albergel3,4 Judith Eeckman et al.
  • 1Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse (IMFT), Université de Toulouse, CNRS - Toulouse, France
  • 2Luxembourg Institute of Science and technology, ERIN, Luxembourg
  • 3CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 4now at European Space Agency Climate Office, ECSAT, Harwell Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK

Abstract. The MARINE hydrological model is a distributed model dedicated to flash flood simulation. Recent developments of the MARINE model are exploited in this work: on the one hand, formerly relying on water height, transfers of water through the subsurface now take place in a homogeneous soil column based on the volumetric soil water content (SSF model). On the other hand, the soil column is divided into two layers, which represent respectively the upper soil layer and the deep weathered rocks (SSF-DWF model). The aim of the present work is to assess the performances of these new representations for the simulation of soil saturation during flash flood events. An exploration of the various products available in the literature for soil moisture estimation is performed. The performances of the models are estimated with respect to several soil moisture products, either at the local scale or spatially extended: i) The gridded soil moisture product provided by the operational modeling chain SAFRAN-ISBA-MODCOU; ii) The gridded soil moisture product provided by the LDAS-Monde assimilation chain, based on the ISBA-a-gs land surface model and assimilating satellite derived data; iii) the upper soil moisture hourly measurements taken from the SMOSMANIA observation network; iv) The Soil Water Index provided by the Copernicus Global Land Service (CGLS), derived from Sentinel1/C-band SAR and ASCAT satellite data. The case study is performed over two French Mediterranean catchments impacted by flash flood events over the 2017–2019 period. The local comparison of the MARINE outputs with the SMOSMANIA measurements, as well as the comparison at the basin scale of the MARINE outputs with the gridded LDAS-Monde and CGLS data lead to the same conclusions: both the dynamics and the amplitudes of the soil moisture simulated with the SSF and SSF-DWF models are better correlated with both the SMOSMANIA measurements and the LDAS-Monde data than the outputs of the base model. The opportunity of improving the two-layers model calibration is then discussed. In conclusion, the developments presented for the representation of subsurface flow in the MARINE model enhance the soil moisture simulation during flash floods, with respect to both gridded data and local soil moisture measurements.

Judith Eeckman et al.

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Judith Eeckman et al.

Judith Eeckman et al.


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