Evaluation of basin-scale hydrologic response to a multi-storm simulation

Z. Yu, E. J. Barron, B. Yarnal, M. N. Lakhtakia, R. A. White, D. Pollard, D. A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding how hydrologic systems of large river basins respond to atmospheric forcing is crucial to regional climate and hydrology studies. A hydrologic model system (HMS) was linked to a regional climate model (RCM) to model a series of storm events passing over the Susquehanna River Basin and to simulate various hydrologic processes in soil hydrology, land surface hydrology, and ground-water hydrology using observed and modeled storm events. The RCM is designed to link to general circulation models and to provide fine spatiotemporal output for hydrologic and other applications. The hydrologic models were calibrated to the observed data (e.g. soil moisture and streamflow) at the basin and subbasin-scales. The HMS-simulated hydrologic response to observed precipitation from a six-storm sequence compares well to the observed. The subgrid-scale spatial variability in precipitation and hydraulic conductivity is included in HMS simulations with RCM-modeled precipitation. Nested 108-36-12 km RCM domains are used for the multi-storm simulation. The 12 km RCM-modeled precipitation is then downscaled to a 1 km hydrologic grid resolution for HMS simulation. Simulations of the six-storm sequence by the RCM produce precipitation fields that appear realistic in general, but that diverge in detail from observed precipitation in both time and space. HMS proves to be sensitive to these details, so the simulated streamflow does not accurately reproduce observed streamflow. The results suggest potential value in improving on the current versions of RCM and HMS for regional climate and hydrology system modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume257
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology

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