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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2017-315
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 26 Mar 2018

Development and technical paper | 26 Mar 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

V2Karst V1.0: A parsimonious large-scale integrated vegetation-recharge model to simulate the impact of climate and land cover change in karst regions

Fanny Sarrazin1, Andreas Hartmann1,2, Francesca Pianosi1, and Thorsten Wagener1,3 Fanny Sarrazin et al.
  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK
  • 2Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 3Cabot Institute, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1UJ, UK

Abstract. Karst aquifers are an important source of drinking water in many regions of the world. Karst areas are highly permeable and produce large amounts of groundwater recharge, while surface runoff is typically negligible. As a result, recharge in these systems may have a different sensitivity to climate and land cover changes compared to other less permeable systems. However, little effort has been directed toward assessing the impact of climate and land cover change in karst areas at large-scales. In this study, we address this gap by (1) introducing the first large-scale hydrological model including an explicit representation of both karst and land cover properties, and by (2) analysing the model's recharge production behaviour. To achieve these points, we first improve the evapotranspiration estimation of a previous large-scale karst recharge model (VarKarst). The new model (V2Karst V1.0) includes a parsimonious representation of relevant ET processes for climate and land cover change impact studies. We demonstrate the plausibility of V2Karst simulations at carbonate rock FLUXNET sites using soft rules and global sensitivity analysis. Then, we use virtual experiments with synthetic data to assess the sensitivity of simulated recharge to precipitation characteristics and land cover. Results reveal how both vegetation and soil parameters control the model behaviour, and they suggest that simulated recharge is sensitive to both precipitation (overall amount and temporal distribution) and land cover. Large-scale assessment of future karst groundwater recharge should therefore consider the combined impact of changes in land cover and precipitation properties, if it is to produce realistic projections of future change impacts.

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fannysarrazin/V2Karst_model: V2Karst version v1.0 F. Sarrazin, A. Hartmann, F. Pianosi, and T. Wagener https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1205463

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Short summary
We propose the first large-scale vegetation-recharge model for karst regions (V2Karst), which enables analysis of the impact of future changes in climate and land cover on karst aquifers. We test the new model at FLUXNET sites and show that it can produce simulations consistent with observations, while parameter sensitivities follow our perception of expected controls on recharge. We use virtual experiments to gain insight into the model sensitivity to precipitation pattern and vegetation cover.
We propose the first large-scale vegetation-recharge model for karst regions (V2Karst), which...
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