Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-174
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-174

  30 Mar 2021

30 Mar 2021

Review status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Exploring the role of soil storage capacity for explaining deviations from the Budyko curve using a simple water balance model

Jan Bondy1, Jan Wienhöfer1, Laurent Pfister2, and Erwin Zehe1 Jan Bondy et al.
  • 1Institute of Water Resources and River Basin Management, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Catchment and Ecohydrology Group, Belvaux, Luxembourg

Abstract. The Budyko curve is a widely used framework for predicting the steady-state water balance –solely based on the hydro-climatic setting of river basins. While this framework has been tested and verified across a wide range of climates and settings around the globe, numerous catchments have been reported to considerably deviate from the predicted behavior. Here, we hypothesize that storage capacity and field capacity of the root zone are important controls of the water limitation of evapotranspiration and thus deviations of the mean annual water balance from the Budyko curve. For testing our hypothesis, we selected 16 catchments of different climatic settings and varied the corresponding parameters of a simple water balance model that was previously calibrated against long-term data and investigated the corresponding variations of the simulated water balance in the Budyko space. We found that total soil storage capacity –by controlling water availability and limitation of evapotranspiration– explains deviations of the evaporation ratio (EVR) from the Budyko curve. Similarly, however to a lesser extent, the evaporation ratio showed sensitivity to alterations of the field capacity. In most cases, the parameter variations generated evaporation ratios enveloping the Budyko curve. The distinct soil storage volumes that matched the Budyko curve clustered at a normalized storage capacity equivalent to 5–15 % of mean annual precipitation. The second, capillarity-related soil parameter clustered at around 0.6–0.8, which is in line with its hydropedological interpretation. A simultaneous variation of both parameters provided additional insights into the interrelation of both parameters and their joint control on offsets from the Budyko curve. Here we found three different sensitivity patterns and we conclude the study with a reflection relating these offsets to the concept of catchment coevolution. The results of this study could also be useful to facilitate evaluation of the water balance in data-scarce regions, as they help constrain parameterizations for hydrological models a priori using the Budyko curve as a predictor.

Jan Bondy et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Jan Bondy, 26 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Apr 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Jan Bondy, 27 Apr 2021
  • CC1: 'On the lower limit of the linear recession constant', John Ding, 22 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Jan Bondy, 26 Apr 2021
  • EC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-174 - Start interacting', Nunzio Romano, 23 Apr 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #3, 24 Apr 2021
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Jan Bondy, 10 May 2021
  • RC4: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #4, 27 Apr 2021
    • AC5: 'Reply on RC4', Jan Bondy, 12 May 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Jan Bondy, 26 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Apr 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Jan Bondy, 27 Apr 2021
  • CC1: 'On the lower limit of the linear recession constant', John Ding, 22 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Jan Bondy, 26 Apr 2021
  • EC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-174 - Start interacting', Nunzio Romano, 23 Apr 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #3, 24 Apr 2021
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Jan Bondy, 10 May 2021
  • RC4: 'Comment on hess-2021-174', Anonymous Referee #4, 27 Apr 2021
    • AC5: 'Reply on RC4', Jan Bondy, 12 May 2021

Jan Bondy et al.

Jan Bondy et al.

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Short summary
The Budyko curve is a widely-used and simple framework to predict the mean water balance of river catchments. While many catchments are in close accordance with the Budyko curve, others show more or less significant deviations. Our study aims at better understanding the role of soil storage characteristics in the mean water balance and offsets from the Budyko curve. Soil storage proved to be a very sensitive property and potentially explains significant deviations from the curve.