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Volume 10, issue 8 | Copyright
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3059-3084, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Model description paper 17 Aug 2017

Model description paper | 17 Aug 2017

VIC–CropSyst-v2: A regional-scale modeling platform to simulate the nexus of climate, hydrology, cropping systems, and human decisions

Keyvan Malek1,a, Claudio Stöckle1, Kiran Chinnayakanahalli3, Roger Nelson1, Mingliang Liu2, Kirti Rajagopalan4, Muhammad Barik2,b, and Jennifer C. Adam2 Keyvan Malek et al.
  • 1Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA
  • 3Air Worldwide Corp., Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • 4Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA
  • acurrently at: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA
  • bcurrently at: University of Alabama in Huntsville, NASA-SERVIR, Huntsville, AL, USA

Abstract. Food supply is affected by a complex nexus of land, atmosphere, and human processes, including short- and long-term stressors (e.g., drought and climate change, respectively). A simulation platform that captures these complex elements can be used to inform policy and best management practices to promote sustainable agriculture. We have developed a tightly coupled framework using the macroscale variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrologic model and the CropSyst agricultural model. A mechanistic irrigation module was also developed for inclusion in this framework. Because VIC–CropSyst combines two widely used and mechanistic models (for crop phenology, growth, management, and macroscale hydrology), it can provide realistic and hydrologically consistent simulations of water availability, crop water requirements for irrigation, and agricultural productivity for both irrigated and dryland systems. This allows VIC–CropSyst to provide managers and decision makers with reliable information on regional water stresses and their impacts on food production. Additionally, VIC–CropSyst is being used in conjunction with socioeconomic models, river system models, and atmospheric models to simulate feedback processes between regional water availability, agricultural water management decisions, and land–atmosphere interactions. The performance of VIC–CropSyst was evaluated on both regional (over the US Pacific Northwest) and point scales. Point-scale evaluation involved using two flux tower sites located in agricultural fields in the US (Nebraska and Illinois). The agreement between recorded and simulated evapotranspiration (ET), applied irrigation water, soil moisture, leaf area index (LAI), and yield indicated that, although the model is intended to work on regional scales, it also captures field-scale processes in agricultural areas.

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