Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 733–741 | Cite as

Effects of Topographic Slopes on Hydrological Proecsses and Climate

  • Jinliang LiuEmail author
  • Han-Ru Cho


Based on previous research results on river re-distribution models, a modification on the effects of topographic slopes for a runoff parameterization was proposed and implemented to the NCAR’s land surface model (LSM). This modification has two aspects: firstly, the topographic slopes cause outflows from higher topography and inflows into the lower topography points; secondly, topographic slopes also cause decrease of infiltration at higher topography and increases of infiltration at lower topography. Then changes in infiltration result in changes in soil moisture, surface fluxes and then in surface temperature, and eventually in the upper atmosphere and the climate. This mechanism is very clearly demonstrated in the point budgets analysis at the Andes Mountains vicinities. Analysis from a regional scale perspective in the Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS) area, the focus of the ongoing Canadian GEWEX program, shows that the modified runoff parameterization does bring significant changes in the regional surface climate. More importantly, detailed analysis from a global perspective shows many encouraging improvements introduced by the modified LSM over the original model in simulating basic atmospheric climate properties such as thermodynamic features (temperature and humidity). All of these improvements in the atmospheric climate simulation illustrate that the inclusion of topographic effects in the LSM can force the AGCM to produce a more realistic model climate.

Key words

Hydrological processes Runoff Parameterization Topographic slope Climate model Land surface model 


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Copyright information

© Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Climate Processes and Earth Observation DivisionMeteorological Service of CanadaDownsviewCanada
  2. 2.National Central UniversityChungliTaiwan

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