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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-348
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-348
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  21 Jul 2020

21 Jul 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal HESS and is expected to appear here in due course.

Last Decade Progress in Understanding and Modeling the Land Surface Processes on the Tibetan Plateau

Hui Lu1,4, Donghai Zheng2, Kun Yang1,3, and Fan Yang1 Hui Lu et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • 2National Tibetan Plateau Data Center, Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environmental Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 3Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 4Ministry of Education Ecological Field Station for East Asian Migratory Birds, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract. The Land Surface Model (LSM) that simulates water and energy exchanges at the land-atmosphere interface is a key component of the Earth system model. The Tibetan Plateau (TP) drives the Asian monsoon through surface heating and thus plays a key role in regulating the climate system in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, it's vital to understand and represent well the land surface processes on the TP. After an early review that identified key issues in the understanding and modelling of land surface processes on the TP in 2009, several progress have been made in the last decade in developing new land surface schemes and supporting datasets. This review summarizes the major advances, including (i) An enthalpy-based approach was adopted to enhance the description of cryosphere processes such as glacier/snow mass balance and soil freeze-thaw transition. (ii) Parameterization of the vertical mixing process was improved in lake models to ensure reasonable heat transfer to the deep water and to the near-surface atmosphere. (iii) New schemes were proposed for modelling water flow and heat transfer in soils accounting for the effects of vertical soil heterogeneity due to the presence of high soil organic matter content and dense vegetation roots in surface soils, or gravel in soil columns. (iv) Supporting datasets of meteorological forcing and soil parameters were developed by integrating multi-source datasets including ground-based observations. Perspectives on the further improvement of land surface modelling on the TP are provided, including the continuous updating of supporting datasets, parameter estimation through assimilation of satellite observations, improvement of snow and lake processes, and the development of an integrated LSM for the TP.

Hui Lu et al.

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Hui Lu et al.

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Short summary
The Tibetan Plateau (TP), known as the Asian water tower, plays an important role in the regional climate system, while the land surface process is a key component through which the TP impacts the water and energy cycles. In this paper, we reviewed the progress achieved in the last decade in understanding and modeling the land surface processes on the TP. Based on this review, perspectives on the further improvement of land surface modelling on the TP are also provided.
The Tibetan Plateau (TP), known as the Asian water tower, plays an important role in the...
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