Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

The hydrological discharge (HD) model (Hagemann and Dümenil 1998; Hagemann and Dümenil Gates 2001) is used for the calculation of river runoff. The HD model has already been used for many years in the global Earth System Model (ESM) MPI-ESM (Giorgetta et al. 2013) and its predecessor ECHAM5/MPIOM (Roeckner et al. 2003; Jungclaus et al. 2006), but was also recently implemented into the regional ESMs ROM (Sein et al. 2015) and RegCM-ES (Sitz et al. 2017) as well as the regional climate model REMO-MPIOM (Elizalde 2011). The HD model was designed to run on a fixed global regular grid of 0.5° horizontal resolution, and it uses a pre-computed river channel network to simulate the horizontal transport of water within model watersheds. Originally, the HD model used a daily time step, but some refinements made during the MPI-ESM development allow sub-daily time steps, e.g. hourly. Recently, the HD model has been adapted to run on a regular grid of 5-Min. horizontal resolution, which corresponds to an average grid box size of 8-9 km. It can be run globally but it is also possible to set up the HD model for a region such as Europe. For the applications of the 5-Min. version over Europe, a regional domain was chosen that covers the land areas between -11°W to 69°E and 27°N to 72°N (Hagemann et al. 2020). This HD model version was recently implemented in the GCOAST (Geesthacht Coupled cOAstal model SysTem) framework of Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht where it was coupled to atmosphere and ocean compartments (GCOAST-AHOI; Ho-Hagemann et al. 2020).

Figure 1 shows the structure of the HD model. It separates the lateral water flow into the three flow processes of overland flow, base flow, and river flow. Overland flow and baseflow are both represented by a single linear reservoir, and river flow is represented by a cascade of n equal linear reservoirs. Overland flow represents the fast flow component within a gridbox and uses surface runoff as input ,base flow represents the slow flow component within a grid box and is fed by drainage from the soil (or subsurface runoff) and the inflow from other grid boxes contributes to river flow. The sum of the three flow processes is equal to the total outflow from a grid box. The model parameters are functions of the topography gradient between grid boxes, the slope within a grid box, the grid box length, the lake area, and the wetland fraction of a particular gridbox. The model input fields of surface runoff and drainage resulting from the various climate or land surface model resolutions are therefore interpolated to the HD grid before fed into the HD model.

Figure 1. The HD model structure. The figure was designed by Ha Hagemann (pers. comm., 2021).


Elizalde, A. (2011). The water cycle in the Mediterranean Region and the impacts of climate change. Phd-Thesis, University of Hamburg, Hamburg. Berichte zur Erdsystemforschung, 103, doi:10.17617/2.1216556

Giorgetta, M. et al. (2013) Climate and carbon cycle changes demo 1850 to 2100 in MPI-ESM simulations for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 5, 572–597

Hagemann, S. and Dümenil, L. (1998) A parametrization of the lateral waterflow for the global scale, Clim. Dyn., 14, 17–31, doi:10.1007/s003820050205

Hagemann, S. and Dümenil Gates, L. (2001) Validation of the hydrological cycle ECMWF and NCEP reanalyses using the MPI hydrological discharge model, J. Geophys. Res. D Atmos., 106, 1503–1510, doi:10.1029/2000JD900568

Hagemann, S., T. Stacke and H. Ho-Hagemann, High resolution discharge simulations over Europe and the Baltic Sea catchment. Front. Earth Sci., 8:12. doi: 10.3389/feart.2020.00012.

Ho-Hagemann, H.T.M., Hagemann, S., Grayek, S., Petrik, R., Rockel, B., Staneva, J., Feser, F., and Schrum, C. (2020) Internal variability in the regional coupled system model GCOAST-AHOI, Atmos., 11, 227, doi: 10.3390/atmos11030227

Jungclaus, J. H.,M. Botzet, H. Haak,N.Keenlyside, J.-J. Luo,M. Latif, J. Marotzke, U. Mikolajewicz, and E. Roeckner (2006), Ocean circulation and tropical variability in the coupled model ECHAM5/MPIOM, J Clim., 19, 3952–3972

Roeckner, E., et al. (2003), The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5. Part I:Model description, Max Planck Institute forMeteor. Rep., 349, 127 pp.,MPI forMeteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Sein, D.V., Mikolajewicz, U., Gröger, M., Fast, I., Cabos, W., Pinto, J. G.,Hagemann, S., Semmler, T., Izquierdo, A. and Jacob, D. (2015) Regionally coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice-marine biogeochemistry model ROM: 1. Description and validation, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 7, 268–304

Sitz, L. E., F. Di Sante, R. Farneti, R. Fuentes-Franco, E. Coppola, L. Mariotti, M. Reale, G. Sannino, M. Barreiro, R. Nogherotto, G. Giuliani, G. Graffino, C. Solidoro, G. Cossarin, and F. Giorgi (2017) Description and evaluation of the Earth System Regional Climate Model (Reg CM-ES), J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 9, 1863–1886, doi:10.1002/2017MS000933

  • No labels
Write a comment…