Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-276
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-276
20 Dec 2023
 | 20 Dec 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Surface-subsurface interaction analysis and the influence of precipitation spatial variability on a lowland mesoscale catchment

Faisal Sardar, Muhammad Haris Ali, Ioana Popescu, Andreja Jonoski, Schalk Jan van Andel, and Claudia Bertini

Abstract. The hydrology of the catchments is primarily shaped by the intricate and dynamic interactions between surface water and groundwater. This is particularly evident in lowland catchments, where these interactions assume a complex nature. This study investigated the complex interaction between surface water and groundwater in the transboundary catchment Aa of Weerijs, shared by the Netherlands and Belgium. A hydrological model, MIKE SHE coupled with MIKE 11, was calibrated and validated over twelve years using streamflow, groundwater levels, and evapotranspiration data. The model performance was analyzed using model efficiency parameters i.e., correlation coefficient and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency coefficient. The model performed well, with satisfactory simulations of streamflow, groundwater levels, and evapotranspiration dynamics. Groundwater levels rose in winter and declined from April to September due to increased evapotranspiration in summer. Precipitation drove the water balance, with 60 % lost through evapotranspiration. Base flow from subsurface drainage networks significantly contributed to river water. Spatial variability in precipitation minimally impacted streamflow but caused localized fluctuations in groundwater levels. Higher spatial resolution precipitation data led to fluctuations due to local recharge points, yet overall catchment hydrology was unaffected. The findings highlight the importance of surface water-groundwater interactions in lowland catchments. The developed model provides insights for water resource planning and climate change adaptation in the catchment.

Faisal Sardar, Muhammad Haris Ali, Ioana Popescu, Andreja Jonoski, Schalk Jan van Andel, and Claudia Bertini

Status: open (until 30 Mar 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2023-276', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Jan 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Muhammad Haris Ali, 25 Jan 2024 reply
Faisal Sardar, Muhammad Haris Ali, Ioana Popescu, Andreja Jonoski, Schalk Jan van Andel, and Claudia Bertini
Faisal Sardar, Muhammad Haris Ali, Ioana Popescu, Andreja Jonoski, Schalk Jan van Andel, and Claudia Bertini

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Short summary
This article analyzes surface and groundwater interactions in a small transboundary lowland catchment. The study also investigates the influence of rainfall representation in model on surface subsurface hydrological simulations. Emphasizing the significance of these interactions, the research highlighted the role of subsurface baseflow in contributing to river discharge. Despite minimal impact on streamflow, spatial variability in rainfall can cause localized fluctuations in groundwater levels.