Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Research article
15 Aug 2012
Research article |  | 15 Aug 2012

Improved modelling of Siberian river flow through the use of an alternative frozen soil hydrology scheme in a land surface model

D. L. Finney, E. Blyth, and R. Ellis

Abstract. A parameterisation to incorporate the effects of frozen soil on modelled hydrology is described and implemented within a land surface model, the Joint UK Land Surface Environment Simulator. It is shown to generally improve the modelled flow of Siberian rivers compared to observations, specifically in seasons of freezing or thawing soil. Most noticeably, the revised model increases the snowmelt flow peak by 26–100% compared to the control model, thereby better matching observed flows. The model physics resulting in the changes to river flow are discussed and attention is given to the effect of inaccuracies in snowfall driving data which can hinder the comparison of new model processes.