Simulating the river-basin response to atmospheric forcing by linking a mesoscale meteorological model and hydrologic model system

Z. Yu, M. N. Lakhtakia, B. Yarnal, R. A. White, D. A. Miller, B. Frakes, E. J. Barron, C. Duffy, F. W. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to test the ability of a distributed meteorological/hydrologic model to simulate the hydrologic response to three single-storm events passing over the Upper West Branch of the Susquehanna River Basin. The high-resolution precipitation fields for three storms are provided by observations and by the Penn State-NCAR Mesoscale Meteorological Model (MM5) with three nested domains. The MM5 simulation successfully captures the storm patterns over the study area, although some temporal and spatial discrepancies exist between observed and simulated precipitation fields. Observed and simulated precipitation data for those storms are used to drive the Hydrologic Model System (HMS). The output from HMS is compared to the measured hydrographic streamflow at the outlet of the Upper West Branch. The Curve Number and Green-Ampt methods of rainfall-runoff partitioning are used in HMS and evaluated for streamflow simulation. The results of the hydrologic simulation compare well with observed data when using the Curve Number partitioning, but underestimate observed data when using the Green-Ampt. The likely cause is the lack of heterogeneity in hydraulic parameters. The simulated streamflow with the MM5-simulated precipitation is lower than the simulated streamflow with observed precipitation. The experiments suggest that the subgrid-scale spatial variability in precipitation and hydraulic parameters should be included in future model development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-91
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume218
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology

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