The multiscale routing model mRM v1.0: simple river routing at resolutions from 1 to 50 km

Thober, Stephan; Cuntz, Matthias; Kelbling, Matthias; Kumar, Rohini; Mai, Juliane; Samaniego, Luis

Routing streamflow through a river network is a fundamental requirement to verify lateral water fluxes simulated by hydrologic and land surface models. River routing is performed at diverse resolutions ranging from few kilometres to 1. The presented multiscale routing model mRM calculates streamflow at diverse spatial and temporal resolutions. mRM solves the kinematic wave equation using a finite difference scheme. An adaptive time stepping scheme fulfilling a numerical stability criterion is introduced in this study and compared against the original parameterisation of mRM that has been developed within the mesoscale hydrologic model (mHM). mRM requires a high-resolution river network, which is upscaled internally to the desired spatial resolution. The user can change the spatial resolution by simply changing a single number in the configuration file without any further adjustments of the input data. The performance of mRM is investigated on two datasets: a high-resolution German dataset and a slightly lower resolved European dataset. The adaptive time stepping scheme within mRM shows a remarkable scalability compared to its predecessor. Median Kling–Gupta efficiencies change less than 3 % when the model parameterisation is transferred from 3 to 48 km resolution. mRM also exhibits seamless scalability in time, providing similar results when forced with hourly and daily runoff. The streamflow calculated over the Danube catchment by the regional climate model REMO coupled to mRM reveals that the 50 km simulation shows a smaller bias with respect to observations than the simulation at 12 km resolution. The mRM source code is freely available and highly modular, facilitating easy internal coupling in existing Earth system models.

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Thober, Stephan / Cuntz, Matthias / Kelbling, Matthias / et al: The multiscale routing model mRM v1.0: simple river routing at resolutions from 1 to 50 km. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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