Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
DOI / URL link
Document Shareable Link
Title (Primary) Water balance estimation under the challenge of data scarcity in a hyperarid to Mediterranean region
Author Sachse, A.; Fischer, C.; Laronne, J.B.; Hennig, H.; Marei, A.; Kolditz, O.; Rödiger, T.;
Journal Hydrological Processes
Year 2017
Department ENVINF; CATHYD;
Volume 31
Issue 13
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T34;
Keywords data scarcity; Dead Sea; hydrological model; J2000g; water balance
UFZ wide themes RU2
Abstract

Water budget analyses are important for the evaluation of the water resources in semiarid and arid regions. The lack of observed data is the major obstacle for hydrological modelling in arid regions. The aim of this study is the analysis and calculation of the natural water resources of the Western Dead Sea subsurface catchment, one which is highly sensitive to rainfall resulting in highly variable temporal and spatial groundwater recharge. We focus on the subsurface catchment and subsequently apply the findings to a large-scale groundwater flow model to estimate the groundwater discharge to the Dead Sea.

We apply a semidistributed hydrological model (J2000g), originally developed for the Mediterranean, to the hyperarid region of the Western Dead Sea catchment, where runoff data and meteorological records are sparsely available. The challenge is to simulate the water budget, where the localized nature of extreme rainstorms together with sparse runoff data results in few observed runoff and recharge events. To overcome the scarcity of climate input data, we enhance the database with mean monthly rainfall data. The rainfall data of 2 satellites are shown to be unsuitable to fill the missing rainfall data due to underrepresentation of the steep hydrological gradient and temporal resolution. Hydrological models need to be calibrated against measured values; hence, the absence of adequate data can be problematic. Therefore, our calibration approach is based on a nested strategy of diverse observations. We calculate a direct surface runoff of the Western Dead Sea surface area (1,801 km2) of 3.4 mm/a and an average recharge (36.7 mm/a) for the 3,816 km2 subsurface drainage basin of the Cretaceous aquifer system.

ID 18960
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=18960
Sachse, A., Fischer, C., Laronne, J.B., Hennig, H., Marei, A., Kolditz, O., Rödiger, T. (2017):
Water balance estimation under the challenge of data scarcity in a hyperarid to Mediterranean region
Hydrol. Process. 31 (13), 2395 - 2411