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PREFEED: Long Term Land Use - Precipitation Feedbacks in the Hai River and Poyang Lake Region in China


Funding: DFG Research Grant within the NSFC/DFG Joint funding programme "Land Use and Water Resources Management under Changing Environmental Conditions"

Partner: State Key Laboratory of Hydrology, Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, No. 1 Xikang Road, Nanjing 20098, China: Prof. Zhongbo Yu


Changes in the hydrological cycle can be mainly attributed to three external causes:

1.     Climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions,

2.     Land cover changes by conversions for agriculture, forest and industrialisation or urbanisation,

3.     Water resources management due to human development, especially for irrigation needs.

For all three cases, feedback effects among atmosphere, land surface and subsurface play a crucial role for a correct quantification of past, current and future expected water availability.

While most of climate change or land-use change hydrological impact assessments rely on simple one-way coupled applications of regional atmospheric models and distributed hydrological models, the development and application of a fully two way coupled model system would close a central gap in hydrological research. It is therefore the objective to develop such a fully two way coupled, meso-scale regional model system. Within PREFEED, this model system will be applied on two Chinese regions: Hai River and Poyang Lake, in order to investigate long term feedback mechanisms between groundwater-, soil moisture dynamics and precipitation

The fully two way coupled system consists of a regional atmospheric - and a distributed hydrological model, sharing the compatible water and energy flux formulations. The model components are: 

  • regional atmospheric model: WRF (Skamarock, 2008)
  • land surface model: Noah LSM (Chen and Dudhia, 2001)
  • hydrological model: HMS (Yu et al., 2006)


Chen, F., Dudhia, J. (2001) Coupling an Advanced Land-Surface/Hydrology Model with the Penn State/NCAR MM5 Modeling System. Part I: Model Implementation and Sensitivity. Monthly Weather Review, 129, 569–585.

Skamarock, W., Klemp, J., Dudhia, J., Gill, D., Barker, D., Duda, M., Huang, X., Wang, W., Powers, J. (2008) A description of the advanced research wrf version 3. ncar technical note 475. Boulder: National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Yu, Z., Pollard, D., Cheng, L. (2006) On continental-scale hydrologic simulations with a coupled hydrologic model. J. Hydrol. 331, 110–124.

Yuan, F., Kunstmann, H., Yang, C., Yu, Z., Ren, L., Fersch, B., Xie, Z. (2009) Development of a coupled land-surface and hydrology model system for mesoscale hydrometeorological simulations, IAHS Publ. 333,195--202.


Figure 1: Location of the two research areas, the Hai River and Poyang Lake Region in China.


Figure 2: Schematic over the two way coupling scheme.