Modeling of extreme freshwater outflow from the north-eastern Japanese river basins to western Pacific Ocean

Josko Troselj, Takahiro Sayama, Sergey M. Varlamov, Toshiharu Sasaki, Marie-Fanny Racault, Kaoru Takara, Yasumasa Miyazawa, Ryusuke Kuroki, Toshio Yamagata, Yosuke Yamashiki

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This study demonstrates the importance of accurate extreme discharge input in hydrological and oceanographic combined modeling by introducing two extreme typhoon events. We investigated the effects of extreme freshwater outflow events from river mouths on sea surface salinity distribution (SSS) in the coastal zone of the north-eastern Japan. Previous studies have used observed discharge at the river mouth, as well as seasonally averaged inter-annual, annual, monthly or daily simulated data. Here, we reproduced the hourly peak discharge during two typhoon events for a targeted set of nine rivers and compared their impact on SSS in the coastal zone based on observed, climatological and simulated freshwater outflows in conjunction with verification of the results using satellite remote-sensing data. We created a set of hourly simulated freshwater outflow data from nine first-class Japanese river basins flowing to the western Pacific Ocean for the two targeted typhoon events (Chataan and Roke) and used it with the integrated hydrological (CDRMV3.1.1) and oceanographic (JCOPE-T) model, to compare the case using climatological mean monthly discharges as freshwater input from rivers with the case using our hydrological model simulated discharges. By using the CDRMV model optimized with the SCE-UA method, we successfully reproduced hindcasts for peak discharges of extreme typhoon events at the river mouths and could consider multiple river basin locations. Modeled SSS results were verified by comparison with Chlorophyll-a distribution, observed by satellite remote sensing. The projection of SSS in the coastal zone became more realistic than without including extreme freshwater outflow. These results suggest that our hydrological models with optimized model parameters calibrated to the Typhoon Roke and Chataan cases can be successfully used to predict runoff values from other extreme precipitation events with similar physical characteristics. Proper simulation of extreme typhoon events provides more realistic coastal SSS and may allow a different scenario analysis with various precipitation inputs for developing a nowcasting analysis in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-970
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Early online date23 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Coastal zone
  • Extreme typhoon events
  • Integrated hydrological and oceanographic model
  • Nowcasting
  • SCE-UA optimization method
  • Sea surface salinity distribution

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