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The understanding of interactions between the atmosphere, the land surface and the subsurface hydrology plays a key role in ensuring sustainable development of water resources and terrestrial ecosystems. The evaluation of climate adaptation measures requires the ability to reliably simulate the impact of different anthropogenic effects such as changes in land use, interventions such as reservoirs for flood control and irrigation, conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater under projections of future climatic conditions and variability. The interaction between climate and groundwater are often neglected in climate models and climate assessment and few studies have investigated how groundwater systems will respond to climate change coupled with human activities. In this study we present the development and application of a fully dynamic coupling between two existing modelling systems; a comprehensive distributed hydrological modelling system, MIKE SHE, and a regional climate modelling system, HIRHAM. The coupled model enables two-way interaction between the atmosphere and the groundwater via the river and land surface and can represent the lateral movement of water in both the surface and subsurface not normally accounted for in regional climate models. We describe the coupling methodology used and the challenges in representing the exchanges between models and across scales. The coupled model is applied to one-way and two-way coupled simulations for a managed groundwater-dominated catchment, the Skjern River, Denmark. The catchment model is embedded in a 4000 x 2800 km meso-scale climate modelling domain. By using the ERA Interim reanalysis as boundary conditions the coupling performance can be evaluated against measurements of both climatic and hydrological variables, including local measurement of energy fluxes. The coupled tool developed here has the capability to simulate both climate change and human interventions and their interactions.


Session R11, Coupling and Integration of Hydrologic Models I



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