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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 04 Feb 2019

Model description paper | 04 Feb 2019

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

The multiscale Routing Model mRM v1.0: simple river routing at resolutions from 1 to 50 km

Stephan Thober1, Matthias Cuntz2, Matthias Kelbling1, Rohini Kumar1, Juliane Mai3, and Luis Samaniego1 Stephan Thober et al.
  • 1Computational Hydrosystems, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2INRA, Université de Lorraine, AgroParisTech, UMR Silva, Nancy, France
  • 3Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada

Abstract. Routing streamflow through a river network is a fundamental requirement to verify lateral water fluxes simulated by hydrologic and land surface models. River routing is performed at diverse resolutions ranging from few kilometers to around 1°. The presented multiscale Routing Model mRM calculates streamflow at diverse spatial and temporal resolutions. mRM solves the kinematic wave equation using a finite difference scheme. An adaptive time stepping scheme fulfilling a numerical stability criteria is introduced in this study and compared against the original parametrization of mRM that has been developed within the mesoscale Hydrologic Model (mHM). mRM requires a high-resolution river network, which is upscaled internally to the desired spatial resolution. The user can change the spatial resolution by simply changing one number in the configuration file without any further adjustments of the input data. The performance of mRM is investigated on two datasets: a high-resolution German dataset and a slightly lower resolution European dataset. The adaptive time step scheme within mRM shows a remarkable scalability compared to its predecessor. Median Kling-Gupta efficiencies change less than 3 percent when the model parametrization is transferred from 3 to 48 km resolution. mRM also exhibits seamless scalability in time, providing identical results when forced with hourly and daily runoff. The streamflow calculated over the Danube catchment by the Regional Climate Model REMO coupled to mRM is comparable at 25 and 50 km resolution. The mRM source code is freely available and highly modular facilitating an easy internal coupling in existing Earth System Models.

Stephan Thober et al.
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Stephan Thober et al.
Stephan Thober et al.
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Latest update: 17 Apr 2019
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present a model that aggregates simulated runoff along a river (i.e., a routing model). The unique feature of the model is that it can be run at multiple resolution without any modification of the input data. The model internally (dis-)aggregates all input data to the resolution given by the user. The model performance does not depend on the chosen resolution. This allows efficient model calibration at low resolution and subsequent model application at high resolution.
We present a model that aggregates simulated runoff along a river (i.e., a routing model). The...