Surface boundary conditions for mesoscale regional climate models

Xin Zhong Liang, Hyun I. Choi, Kenneth E. Kunkel, Yongjiu Dai, Everette Joseph, Julian X.L. Wang, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper utilizes the best available quality data from multiple sources to develop consistent surface boundary conditions (SBCs) for mesoscale regional climate model (RCM) applications. The primary SBCs include 1) fields of soil characteristic (bedrock depth, and sand and clay fraction profiles), which for the first time have been consistently introduced to define 3D soil properties; 2) fields of vegetation characteristic fields (landcover category, and static fractional vegetation cover and varying leaf-plusstem-area indices) to represent spatial and temporal variations of vegetation with improved data coherence and physical realism; and 3) daily sea surface temperature variations based on the most appropriate data currently available or other value-added alternatives. For each field, multiple data sources are compared to quantify uncertainties for selecting the best one or merged to create a consistent and complete spatial and temporal coverage. The SBCs so developed can be readily incorporated into any RCM suitable for U.S. climate and hydrology modeling studies, while the data processing and validation procedures can be more generally applied to construct SBCs for any specific domain over the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalEarth Interactions
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2005


  • Bedrock depth
  • Fractional vegetation cover
  • Land cover
  • Leaf area index
  • Regional climate model
  • Sea surface temperature
  • Soil fraction profiles
  • Surface boundary conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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