Modeling surface water dynamics in the Amazon Basin using MOSART-Inundation-v1.0: Impacts of geomorphological parameters and river flow representation

Xiangyu Luo, Hong-Yi Li, L. Ruby Leung, Teklu K. Tesfa, Augusto Getirana, Fabrice Papa, Laura L. Hess
2016 Geoscientific Model Development Discussions  
Surface water dynamics play an important role in water, energy and carbon cycles of the Amazon Basin. A macro-scale inundation scheme was integrated with a surface-water transport model and the extended model was applied in this vast basin. We addressed the challenges of improving basin-wide geomorphological parameters and river flow representation for large-scale applications. Vegetation-caused biases embedded in the HydroSHEDS DEM data were alleviated by using a vegetation height map of about
more » ... 1-km resolution and a land cover dataset of about 90-m resolution. The average elevation deduction from the DEM correction was about 13.2&amp;thinsp;m for the entire basin. Basin-wide empirical formulae for channel cross-sectional geometry were adjusted based on local information for the major portion of the basin, which could significantly reduce the cross-sectional area for the channels of some subregions. The Manning roughness coefficient of the channel varied with the channel depth to reflect the general rule that the relative importance of riverbed resistance in river flow declined with the increase of river size. The entire basin was discretized into 5395 subbasins (with an average area of 1091.7&amp;thinsp;km<sup>2</sup>), which were used as computation units. The model was driven by runoff estimates of 14 years (1994&amp;ndash;2007) generated by the ISBA land surface model. The simulated results were evaluated against in situ streamflow records, and remotely sensed Envisat altimetry data and GIEMS inundation data. The hydrographs were reproduced fairly well for the majority of 13 major stream gauges. For the 11 subbasins containing or close to 11 of the 13 gauges, the timing of river stage fluctuations was captured; for most of the 11 subbasins, the magnitude of river stage fluctuations was represented well. The inundation estimates were comparable to the GIEMS observations. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that refining floodplain topography, channel morphology and Manning roughness coefficients, as well as accounting for backwater effects could evidently affect local and upstream inundation, which consequently affected flood waves and inundation of the downstream area. It was also shown that the river stage was sensitive to local channel morphology and Manning roughness coefficients, as well as backwater effects. The understanding obtained in this study could be helpful to improving modeling of surface hydrology in basins with evident inundation, especially at regional or larger scales.
doi:10.5194/gmd-2016-210 fatcat:xw4dj4xqvrb4rpz7rhla3gjusm