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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-137
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Cutting-edge case studies
17 May 2017
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This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Providing a non-deterministic representation of spatial variability of precipitation in the Everest region
Judith Eeckman1, Pierre Chevallier1, Aaron Boone2, Luc Neppel1, Anneke De Rouw3, Francois Delclaux1, and Devesh Koirala4 1Laboratoire HydroSciences (CNRS, IRD, Universite de Montpellier) CC 57 - Universite de Montpellier 163, rue Auguste Broussonnet 34090 Montpellier, France
2CNRM UMR 3589, Meteo-France/CNRS, Toulouse, France
3Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris cedex 5, France
4Nepal Academy of Science and Technology GPO box: 3323 Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
Abstract. This paper provides a new representation of the effect of altitude on precipitation that represent spatial and temporal variability of precipitation in the Everest region. Exclusive observation data are used to infer a piecewise linear function for the relation between altitude and precipitation and significant seasonal variations are highlighted. An original ensemble approach is applied to provide non deterministic water budgets for middle and high mountain catchments. Physical processes at the soil-atmosphere interface are represented through the ISBA surface scheme. Uncertainties associated with the model parametrization are limited by the integration of in-situ measurements of soils and vegetation properties. Uncertainties associated with representation of the orographic effect are shown to account for up to 16 % of annual total precipitation. Annual evapotranspiration is shown to represent 26 % ± 1 % of annual total precipitation for the mid-altitude catchment and 34 % ± 3 % for the high-altitude catchment. Snow fall contribution is shown to be neglectible for the mid-altitude catchment and it represents up to 44 % ± 8 % of total precipitation for the high-altitude catchment. These simulations at the local scale enhance current knowledge of the spatial variability of hydro-climatic processes in high- and mid-altitude mountain environments.

Citation: Eeckman, J., Chevallier, P., Boone, A., Neppel, L., De Rouw, A., Delclaux, F., and Koirala, D.: Providing a non-deterministic representation of spatial variability of precipitation in the Everest region, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-137, in review, 2017.
Judith Eeckman et al.
Judith Eeckman et al.
Judith Eeckman et al.

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Short summary
The central part of the Himalayan range presents tremendous heterogeneity in terms of topography and climatology. But the representation of hydro-climatic processes for Himalayan catchments are limited due to a lack of knowledge in such poorly instrumented environments. The proposed approach is to characterize the effect of altitude on precipitation by considering ensembles of acceptable altitudinal factors. Ensemble of acceptable values for the components of the water cycle are then provided.
The central part of the Himalayan range presents tremendous heterogeneity in terms of topography...
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