Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model description paper
19 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
GLOFRIM v1.0 – A globally applicable computational framework for integrated hydrological-hydrodynamic modelling
Jannis M. Hoch1,2, Jeffrey C. Neal3, Fedor Baart2, Rens van Beek1, Hessel C. Winsemius2,4, Paul D. Bates3, and Marc F. P. Bierkens1,2 1Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, the Netherlands
2Deltares, P.O. Box 177, 2600 MH Delft, the Netherlands
3School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
4Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Abstract. To increase the representation of physical processes in inundation modelling, current research approaches aim to integrate both hydrological and hydrodynamic models. A previous study by Hoch et al. (2017) showed that spatially explicit coupling approaches can outperform stand-alone runs by single-purpose models as they combine spatially distributed model forcing by hydrological models with more sophisticated routing schemes in hydrodynamic models. We here present GLOFRIM, a globally applicable computational framework for integrated hydrological-hydrodynamic modelling, to facilitate such coupling approaches and to cater for an ensemble of models to be coupled. It currently allows for coupling the global hydrological model PCR-GLOBWB with either Delft3D Flexible Mesh (DFM), solving the full shallow-water equations and allowing for spatially flexible meshing, or LISFLOOD-FP (LFP), solving the local inertia equations and running on regular grids. The main advantages of the framework are its open and free access, its global applicability, its versatility, and its extensibility with other hydrological or hydrodynamic models. Before applying GLOFRIM to an actual test case, we benchmarked both DFM and LFP for a synthetic test case. Results show that for sub-critical flow conditions, discharge response to the same input signal is near identical for both models, which agrees with previous studies. We subsequently applied the framework to the Amazon River basin to test the framework thoroughly and, in addition, to perform a first-ever benchmark of flexible and regular grids at the large-scale. Both DFM and LFP produce comparable results in terms of simulated discharge with LFP exhibiting slightly higher accuracy as expressed by a Kling-Gupta-Efficiency of 0.82 compared to 0.76 for DFM. However, benchmarking inundation extent between DFM and LFP over the entire study area, a critical success index of 0.46 was obtained, indicating that the models disagree as often as they agree. Differences between models in both simulated discharge and inundation extent is to a large extent attributable to the gridding techniques employed. In fact, the result show that the numerical scheme of the inundation model and the gridding technique can contribute as strongly to deviations in simulated inundation extent as, unlike the global flood model inter-comparison by Trigg et al. (2016), we control for model forcing and boundary conditions. This study shows that the presented computational framework is robust and widely applicable. GLOFRIM is designed as open access and to be easily extendable, and thus we hope that other large-scale hydrological and hydrodynamic models will be added, eventually capturing more locally relevant processes as well as allowing for more robust model inter-comparison, benchmarking, and ensemble simulations of flood hazard at the large scale.

Citation: Hoch, J. M., Neal, J. C., Baart, F., van Beek, R., Winsemius, H. C., Bates, P. D., and Bierkens, M. F. P.: GLOFRIM v1.0 – A globally applicable computational framework for integrated hydrological-hydrodynamic modelling, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Jannis M. Hoch et al.

Model code and software

J. M. Hoch, F. Baart, J. C. Neal, R. van Beek, H. C. Winsemius, P. D. Bates, and M. F. P. Bierkens
Jannis M. Hoch et al.


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Short summary
To improve our understanding of future flood hazard, it is vital to model all relevant processes. In this paper we present GLOFRIM, a framework for coupling hydrological and hydrodynamic models, thus increasing the number of physical processes represented. The framework is openly available, versatile, and extensible. First results underline its added value for model benchmarking and that not only model forcing influences output accuracy, but also the grid properties and numerical scheme.
To improve our understanding of future flood hazard, it is vital to model all relevant...