The latest improvements with SURFEX v8.0 of the Safran–Isba–Modcou hydrometeorological model for France

Le Moigne, Patrick; Besson, François; Martin, Eric; Boé, Julien; Boone, Aaron; Decharme, Bertrand; Etchevers, Pierre; Faroux, Stéphanie; Habets, Florence; Lafaysse, Matthieu; Leroux, Delphine; Rousset-Regimbeau, Fabienne

This paper describes the impact of the various changes made to the Safran–Isba–Modcou (SIM) hydrometeorological system and demonstrates that the new version of the model performs better than the previous one by making comparisons with observations of daily river flows and snow depths. SIM was developed and put into operational service at Météo-France in the early 2000s. The SIM application is dedicated to the monitoring of water resources and can therefore help in drought monitoring or flood risk forecasting on French territory. This complex system combines three models: SAFRAN, which analyses meteorological variables close to the surface, the ISBA land surface model, which aims to calculate surface fluxes at the interface with the atmosphere and ground variables, and finally MODCOU, a hydrogeological model which calculates river flows and changes in groundwater levels. The SIM model has been improved first by reducing the infrared radiation bias of SAFRAN and then by using the more advanced ISBA multi-layer surface diffusion scheme to have a more physical representation of surface and ground processes. In addition, more accurate and recent databases of vegetation, soil texture, and orography were used. Finally, in mountainous areas, a sub-grid orography representation using elevation bands was adopted, as was the possibility of adding a reservoir to represent the effect of aquifers in mountainous areas. The numerical simulations carried out with the SIM model covered the period from 1958 to 2018, thereby providing an extensive historical analysis of the water resources over France.

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Le Moigne, Patrick / Besson, François / Martin, Eric / et al: The latest improvements with SURFEX v8.0 of the Safran–Isba–Modcou hydrometeorological model for France. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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