EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Integrating tropical peatland hydrology into a global land surface model (PEATCLSM)

Sebastian Apers1, Michel Bechtold1,2, Andy J. Baird3, Alexander R. Cobb4, Greta Dargie3, Ayob Katimon5, Randal D. Koster6, Maija Lampela7, Sarith P. Mahanama6,8, Susan Page9, Rolf H. Reichle6, Jan Vanderborght10, Gabriëlle J. M. De Lannoy1, and the collaborators*
Sebastian Apers et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium
  • 2Department of Computer Science, KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium
  • 3School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 4Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore
  • 5School of Bioprocess Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Arau, Malaysia
  • 6Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 7Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 8Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD, USA,
  • 9Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 10Agrosphere, IBG-3, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Tropical peatlands have a specific hydrology that regulates their internal processes and functioning. External disturbances such as drainage, land cover and land use changes, and climate change could disrupt the peat-specific hydrology and convert the immense peatland carbon stocks into strong greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting sources. The need for (more) accurate monitoring of GHG emissions has led to the development of complex biogeochemical models, which highly depend on proper representation of peat-specific land surface hydrology. However, the latter is often inadequately accounted for in global Earth system modeling frameworks.

In this research, we leverage the PEATCLSM modules recently developed for the Catchment land surface model (CLSM) of the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System framework (Bechtold et al., 2019). These modules were evaluated for northern peatlands, hereafter referred to as PEATCLSMN. Here, we present an extended version of PEATCLSM for tropical peatlands with literature-based parameter sets for natural (PEATCLSMT,Natural) and drained (PEATCLSMT,Drained) tropical peatlands. A suite of modeling experiments was conducted to compare the performance of PEATCLSMT,Natural, PEATCLSMT,Drained, PEATCLSMN, and the currently operational CLSM version that includes peat parameters but no peat-specific model structure (CLSMO). Simulations over major tropical peatland regions in Southeast Asia, the Congo Basin, and South and Central America were evaluated with a comprehensive and self-compiled dataset of groundwater table depth (WTD) and evapotranspiration (ET). Preliminary results show that the simulated WTD from CLSMO exhibits too much temporal variability and large biases, either positive or negative. The temporal correlation coefficient between simulated and observed WTD for both PEATCLSMT,Natural (over undeveloped peatlands only) and PEATCLSMT,Drained (over drained peatlands only) is similar to that of PEATCLSMN. However, both tropical versions reduce the average absolute bias to a few centimeters. Performance differences across the major tropical peatland regions are discussed.

Reference: Bechtold, M., De Lannoy, G. J. M., Koster, R. D., Reichle, R. H., Mahanama, S. P., Bleuten, W., et al. (2019). PEAT‐CLSM: A specific treatment of peatland hydrology in the NASA Catchment Land Surface Model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 11(7), 2130-2162. doi: 10.1029/2018MS001574


Hidayat Hidayat,, Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands & Research Center for Limnology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Cibinong, Indonesia; Takashi Hirano,, Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan; Alison Hoyt,, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; Yoshiyukii Ishii,, Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan; Ahmad Kurnain,, Department of Soil Science, Lambung Mangkurat University, Indonesia; Lulie Melling,, Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute, Kuching-Kota Samarahan Expressway, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia; Hidenori Takahashi,, Hokkaido Institute of Hydro-climate, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan; Angela Tang,, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA & Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute, Kuching-Kota Samarahan Expressway, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia; Mohammed Taufik,, Department of Geophysics and Meteorology, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Bogor, Indonesia

How to cite: Apers, S., Bechtold, M., Baird, A. J., Cobb, A. R., Dargie, G., Katimon, A., Koster, R. D., Lampela, M., Mahanama, S. P., Page, S., Reichle, R. H., Vanderborght, J., and De Lannoy, G. J. M. and the collaborators: Integrating tropical peatland hydrology into a global land surface model (PEATCLSM), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17576,, 2020


Display file

Comments on the display

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

displays version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020, no comments