• Land surface processes;
  • model intercomparison study;
  • soil moisture;
  • temporal scaling;
  • Little River Experimental Watershed;
  • monitoring networks

[1] Three different land surface models (Hydrological improvements to the Simplified version of the Simple Biosphere model (HySSiB), Noah model, and Community Land Model (CLM)) were simulated on the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Land Information System platform at 1-km resolution over the Little River Experimental Watershed, Georgia, and the simulated results were analyzed to address the local-scale land-atmosphere processes. All the three models simulated the soil moisture in space and time realistically. The Noah model produced higher soil moisture whereas the CLM got lower soil moisture with many dry down phases. CLM and HySSiB models were oversensitive to the atmospheric events. Different vertical discretizations of the model layers affected the soil moisture results in all the three models. The arithmetic model ensemble mean soil moisture performed reasonably well even at individual in-situ measurement sites. We found that different model schemes partitioned the incoming water and energy differently and hence produced different results for the water and energy budget parameters. In CLM, the energy and water budget parameters were very closely connected to the soil moisture (e.g., evaporation, latent, and sensible heat) change. HySSiB produced very high surface runoff and very low subsurface runoff. The Noah model did not produce much surface and subsurface runoff resulting in high surface soil moisture. We did not find much variability in Noah latent heat, sensible heat, and ground heat fluxes. From soil moisture data assimilation point of view, the mean bias removed Noah soil moisture was found to be better than other data sets.