Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Research article
21 Jun 2021
Research article |  | 21 Jun 2021

Climate-controlled root zone parameters show potential to improve water flux simulations by land surface models

Fransje van Oorschot, Ruud J. van der Ent, Markus Hrachowitz, and Andrea Alessandri

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Cited articles

Ardilouze, C., Batté, L., Bunzel, F., Decremer, D., Déqué, M., Doblas-Reyes, F. J., Douville, H., Fereday, D., Guemas, V., MacLachlan, C., Müller, W., and Prodhomme, C.: Multi-model assessment of the impact of soil moisture initialization on mid-latitude summer predictability, Clim. Dynam., 49, 3959–3974,, 2017. a
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology: Hydrologic Reference Stations, available at:, last access: September 2019. a, b, c, d
Balsamo, G., Viterbo, P., Beijaars, A., van den Hurk, B., Hirschi, M., Betts, A. K., and Scipal, K.: A revised hydrology for the ECMWF model: Verification from field site to terrestrial water storage and impact in the integrated forecast system, J. Hydrometeorol., 10, 623–643,, 2009. a, b, c
Balsamo, G., Pappenberger, F., Dutra, E., Viterbo, P., and van den Hurk, B.: A revised land hydrology in the ECMWF model: a step towards daily water flux prediction in a fully-closed water cycle, Hydrol. Process., 25, 1046–1054,, 2011. a
Bouaziz, L., Weerts, A., Schellekens, J., Sprokkereef, E., Stam, J., Savenije, H., and Hrachowitz, M.: Redressing the balance: quantifying net intercatchment groundwater flows, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 6415–6434,, 2018. a
Short summary
The roots of vegetation largely control the Earth's water cycle by transporting water from the subsurface to the atmosphere but are not adequately represented in land surface models, causing uncertainties in modeled water fluxes. We replaced the root parameters in an existing model with more realistic ones that account for a climate control on root development and found improved timing of modeled river discharge. Further extension of our approach could improve modeled water fluxes globally.
Final-revised paper