Effects of grid size and aggregation on regional scale landuse scenario calculations using SVAT schemes
This paper analyses the effect of spatial input data resolution on the simulated effects of regional scale landuse scenarios using the TOPLATS model. A data set of 25 m resolution of the central German Dill catchment (693 km 2) and three different landuse scenarios are used for the investigation. Landuse scenarios in this study are field size scenarios, and depending on a specific target field size (0.5 ha, 1.5 ha and 5.0 ha) landuse is determined by optimising economic outcome of agricultural used areas and forest. After an aggregation of digital elevation model, soil map, current landuse and landuse scenarios to 50 m, 75 m, 100 m, 150 m, 200 m, 300 m, 500 m, 1 km and 2 km, water balances and water flow components for a 20 years time period are calculated for the entire Dill catchment as well as for 3 subcatchments without any recalibration. Additionally water balances based on the three landuse scenarios as well as changes between current conditions and scenarios are calculated. The study reveals that both model performance measures (for current landuse) as well as water balances (for current landuse and landuse scenarios) almost remain constant for most of the aggregation steps for all investigated catchments. Small deviations are detected at the resolution of 50 m to 500 m, while significant differences occur at the resolution of 1 km and 2 km which can be explained by changes in the statistics of the input data. Calculating the scenario effects based on increasing grid sizes yields similar results. However, the change effects react more sensitive to data aggregation than simple water balance calculations. Increasing deviations between simulations based on small grid sizes and simulations using grid sizes of 300 m and more are observed. Summarizing, this study indicates that an aggregation of input data for the calculation of regional water balances using TOPLATS type models does not lead to significant errors up to a resolution of 500 m. Focusing on scenario effects the model is more sensitive to input data aggregation as aggregation effects of current data and scenarios partly sum up. The maximum reasonable grid size for scenario calculations decreases to 200–300 m.