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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 10 | Copyright

Special issue: The externalised surface model SURFEX

Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 4175-4194, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 16 Oct 2018

Development and technical paper | 16 Oct 2018

Improvements to the hydrological processes of the Town Energy Balance model (TEB-Veg, SURFEX v7.3) for urban modelling and impact assessment

Xenia Stavropulos-Laffaille1, Katia Chancibault1, Jean-Marc Brun1, Aude Lemonsu2, Valéry Masson2, Aaron Boone2, and Hervé Andrieu1 Xenia Stavropulos-Laffaille et al.
  • 1IFSTTAR, GERS, EE, 44344 Bouguenais, France
  • 2CNRM UMR 3589, Météo-France/CNRS, Toulouse, 31057 Toulouse CEDEX 1, France

Abstract. Climate change and demographic pressures are affecting both the urban water balance and microclimate, thus amplifying urban flooding and the urban heat island phenomena. These issues need to be addressed when engaging in urban planning activities. Local authorities and stakeholders have therefore opted for more nature-based adaptation strategies, which are especially suitable in influencing hydrological and energy processes. Assessing the multiple benefits of such strategies on the urban microclimate requires high-performance numerical tools. This paper presents recent developments dedicated to the water budget in the Town Energy Balance for vegetated surfaces (TEB-Veg) model (surface externalisée; SURFEX v7.3), thus providing a more complete representation of the hydrological processes taking place in the urban subsoil. This new hydrological module is called TEB-Hydro. Its inherent features include the introduction of subsoil beneath built surfaces, the horizontal rebalancing of intra-mesh soil moisture, soil water drainage via the sewer network and the limitation of deep drainage. A sensitivity analysis is then performed in order to identify the hydrological parameters required for model calibration. This new TEB-Hydro model is evaluated on two small residential catchments in Nantes (France), over two distinct periods, by comparing simulated sewer discharge with observed findings. In both cases, the model tends to overestimate total sewer discharge and performs better under wet weather conditions, with a Kling–Gupta efficiency (KGE) statistical criterion greater than 0.80 vs. approximately 0.60 under drier conditions. These results are encouraging since the same set of model parameters is identified for both catchments, irrespective of meteorological and local physical conditions. This approach offers opportunities to apply the TEB-Hydro model at the city scale alongside projections of climate and demographic changes.

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Integrating vegetation in urban planning is promoted to counter steer potential impacts of climate and demographic changes. Assessing the multiple benefits of such strategies on the urban microclimate requires a detailed coupling of both the water and energy transfers in numerical tools. In this respect, the representation of water-related processes in the urban subsoil of the existing model TEB-Veg has been improved. The new model thus allows a better evaluation of urban adaptation strategies.
Integrating vegetation in urban planning is promoted to counter steer potential impacts of...