Assessing a land surface model's improvements with GRACE estimates

Guo Yue Niu, Zong Liang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have produced an unprecedented data set of terrestrial water storage (TWS) change in large-scale river basins. Recent research has found that monthly variations of soil moisture and snow water simulated by land surface models compared favorably with the GRACE-derived TWS change. Compared to the GRACE data, the standard version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Land Model (CLM) produces a weaker TWS variability in tropical and mid-latitudes but a stronger TWS variation in high latitudes. However, a modified version of CLM that includes more realistic interception, runoff, and frozen soil processes improves the simulation of TWS change in global river basins of various scales. In addition, the modified CLM improves the modeling of evapotranspiration through the improvements in the modeling of TWS variation and runoff in the Amazon River basin. Along this line of research, this paper shows that such GRACE data can be used as a means of evaluating the hydrological schemes in a land surface model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL07401
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 16 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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