- Using OpenMI and a Model MAP to Integrate WaterML2 and NetCDF Data Sources
into Flood Modeling of Genoa, Italy
- Authors: Quillon Harpham; Julien Lhomme, Antonio Parodi, Elisabetta Fiori, Bert Jagers, Antonella Galizia
Abstract: Extreme hydrometeorological events such as flash floods have caused considerable loss of life and damage to infrastructure over recent years. Flood events in the Mediterranean region between 1990 and 2006 caused over 4,500 fatalities and cost over €29 billion in damage, with Italy one of the worst affected countries. The Distributed Computing Infrastructure for Hydro‐Meteorology (DRIHM) project is a European initiative aiming at providing an open, fully integrated eScience environment for predicting, managing, and mitigating the risks related to such extreme weather phenomena. Incorporating both modeled and observational data sources, it enables seamless access to a set of computing resources with the objective of providing a collection of services for performing experiments with numerical models in meteorology, hydrology, and hydraulics. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how this flexible modeling architecture has been constructed using a set of standards including the NetCDF and WaterML2 file formats, in‐memory coupling with OpenMI, controlled vocabularies such as CF Standard Names, ISO19139 metadata, and a Model MAP (Metadata, Adaptors, Portability) gateway concept for preparing numerical models for standardized use. Hydraulic results, including the impact to buildings and hazards to people, are given for the use cases of the severe and fatal flash floods, which occurred in Genoa, Italy in November 2011 and October 2014.
- Recycling Irrigation Reservoir Stratification and Implications for Crop
Health and Production
- Abstract: Recycling irrigation reservoirs (RIRs) are an emerging aquatic ecosystem and water resource of global significance. This study investigated the vertical distribution of water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH in eight RIRs at two nurseries each in Virginia and Maryland from 2011 to 2014. Monomictic thermal stratification was observed from April to October in all RIRs, despite their shallow depths (0.75‐3.89 m). The strongest stratification had a top‐bottom temperature difference of 21.53°C. The top‐bottom temperature difference was positively correlated with water column depth, air temperature, and daily light integral (p
- Large‐Scale Fine‐Resolution Hydrological Modeling Using
Parameter Regionalization in the Missouri River Basin
- Authors: Prasad Daggupati; Debjani Deb, Raghavan Srinivasan, Dhanesh Yeganantham, Vikram M. Mehta, Norman J. Rosenberg
Abstract: This study simulated crop and water yields in the Missouri River Basin (MRB; 1,371,000 km2), one of the largest river basins in the United States, using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) at a fine resolution of 12‐digit Hydrological Unit Codes (HUCs) using the regionalization calibration approach. Very few studies have simulated the entire MRB, and those that have developed were at a coarser resolution of 8‐digit HUCs and were minimally calibrated. The MRB was first divided into three subbasins and was further divided into eleven regions. A “head watershed” was selected in each region and was calibrated for crop and water yields. The parameters from the calibrated head watershed were extrapolated to other subwatersheds in the region to complete comprehensive spatial calibration. The simulated crop yields at the head watersheds were in close agreement with observed crop yields. Spatial validation of the aggregated crop yields resulted in reasonable predictions for all crops except dryland corn in a few regions. Simulated and observed water yields in head watersheds and also in the validation locations were in close agreement in naturalized streams and poor agreement in streams with high groundwater‐surface water interactions and/or reservoirs found upstream of the gauges. Overall, the SWAT model was able to reasonably capture the hydrological and crop growth dynamics occurring in the basin despite some limitations.
- Identification of Putative Geographically Isolated Wetlands of the
Conterminous United States
- Authors: Charles R. Lane; Ellen D'Amico
Abstract: Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) are wetlands completely surrounded by uplands. While common throughout the United States (U.S.), there have heretofore been no nationally available, spatially explicit estimates of GIW extent, complicating efforts to understand the myriad biogeochemical, hydrological, and habitat functions of GIWs and hampering conservation and management efforts at local, state, and national scales. We used a 10‐m geospatial buffer as a proxy for hydrological or ecological connectivity of National Wetlands Inventory palustrine and lacustrine wetland systems to nationally mapped and available stream, river, and lake data. We identified over 8.3 million putative GIWs across the conterminous U.S., encompassing nearly 6.5 million hectares of wetland resources (average size 0.79 ± 4.81 ha, median size 0.19 ha). Putative GIWs thus represent approximately 16% of the freshwater wetlands of the conterminous U.S. The water regime for the majority of the putative GIWs was temporarily or seasonally flooded, suggesting a vulnerability to ditching or hydrologic abstraction, sedimentation, or alterations in precipitation patterns. Additional analytical applications of this readily available geospatially explicit mapping product (e.g., hydrological modeling, amphibian metapopulation, or landscape ecological analyses) will improve our understanding of the abundance and extent, effect, connectivity, and relative importance of GIWs to other aquatic systems of the conterminous U.S.
- Evaluating Hydrologically Connected Surface Water and Groundwater Using a
- Authors: Ruopu Li; Mahesh Pun, Jesse Bradley, Gengxin Ou, Jim Schneider, Brandi Flyr, Jessie Winter, Sudhansh Chinta
Abstract: Determination of the nature and extent of the connection between groundwater and surface water is of paramount importance to managing water supplies. The development of analyses that detail the surface water‐groundwater system may lead to more effective utilization of available water. A tool was developed to help determine the effects of groundwater and surface water interactions. The software tool includes two graphic user interfaces to allow full compatibility with numerical MODFLOW groundwater models. This case study shows the tool, in conjunction with MODFLOW groundwater models and carefully designed scenarios, can successfully calculate the rates of stream‐groundwater interactions, thereby providing the basis for designating management areas with the most significant hydrologic impact. This tool can be applied in other regions with similar settings and needs for integrated water management.
- Irrigation Water Allocation Using an Inexact Two‐Stage Quadratic
Programming with Fuzzy Input under Climate Change
- Authors: Mo Li; Ping Guo, Vijay P. Singh, Jie Zhao
Abstract: Agricultural irrigation accounts for nearly 70% of the total water use around the world. Uncertainties and climate change together exacerbate the complexity of optimal allocation of water resources for irrigation. An interval‐fuzzy two‐stage stochastic quadratic programming model is developed for determining the plans for water allocation for irrigation with maximum benefits. The model is shown to be applicable when inputs are expressed as discrete, fuzzy or random. In order to reflect the effect of marginal utility on benefit and cost, the model can also deal with nonlinearities in the objective function. Results from applying the model to a case study in the middle reaches of the Heihe River basin, China, show schemes for water allocation for irrigation of different crops in every month of the crop growth period under various flow levels are effective for achieving high economic benefits. Different climate change scenarios are used to analyze the impact of changing water requirement and water availability on irrigation water allocation. The proposed model can aid the decision maker in formulating desired irrigation water management policies in the wake of uncertainties and changing environment.
- An Analysis of Water Data Systems to Inform the Open Water Data Initiative
- Authors: David Blodgett; Emily Read, Jessica Lucido, Tad Slawecki, Dwane Young
Abstract: Improving access to data and fostering open exchange of water information is foundational to solving water resources issues. In this vein, the Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Water and Science put forward the charge to undertake an Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) that would prioritize and accelerate work toward better water data infrastructure. The goal of the OWDI is to build out the Open Water Web (OWW). We therefore considered the OWW in terms of four conceptual functions: water data cataloging, water data as a service, enriching water data, and community for water data. To describe the current state of the OWW and identify areas needing improvement, we conducted an analysis of existing systems using a standard model for describing distributed systems and their business requirements. Our analysis considered three OWDI‐focused use cases—flooding, drought, and contaminant transport—and then examined the landscape of other existing applications that support the Open Water Web. The analysis, which includes a discussion of observed successful practices of cataloging, serving, enriching, and building community around water resources data, demonstrates that we have made significant progress toward the needed infrastructure, although challenges remain. The further development of the OWW can be greatly informed by the interpretation and findings of our analysis.
- Issue Information
- PubDate: 2016-04-01T05:36:05.737955-05:
- Optimal Reorganization of NASA Earth Science Data for Enhanced
Accessibility and Usability for the Hydrology Community
- Authors: William Teng; Hualan Rui, Richard Strub, Bruce Vollmer
Abstract: A long‐standing “Digital Divide” in data representation exists between the preferred way of data access by the hydrology community and the common way of data archival by earth science data centers. Typically, in hydrology, earth surface features are expressed as discrete spatial objects (e.g., watersheds), and time‐varying data are contained in associated time series. Data in earth science archives, although stored as discrete values (of satellite swath pixels or geographical grids), represent continuous spatial fields, one file per time step. This Divide has been an obstacle, specifically, between the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. and NASA earth science data systems. In essence, the way data are archived is conceptually orthogonal to the desired method of access. Our recent work has shown an optimal method of bridging the Divide, by enabling operational access to long‐time series (e.g., 36 years of hourly data) of selected NASA datasets. These time series, which we have termed “data rods,” are pre‐generated or generated on‐the‐fly. This optimal solution was arrived at after extensive investigations of various approaches, including one based on “data curtains.” The on‐the‐fly generation of data rods uses “data cubes,” NASA Giovanni, and parallel processing. The optimal reorganization of NASA earth science data has significantly enhanced the access to and use of the data for the hydrology user community.
- Evaluation of Methods for Delineating Riparian Zones in a Semi‐Arid
- Authors: Jessica A. Salo; David M. Theobald, Thomas C. Brown
Abstract: Riparian zones in semi‐arid, mountainous regions provide a disproportionate amount of the available wildlife habitat and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, there is little guidance on the best way to map riparian zones for broad spatial extents (e.g., large watersheds) when detailed maps from field data or high‐resolution imagery and terrain data are not available. Using well‐established accuracy metrics (e.g., kappa, precision, computational complexity), we evaluated eight methods commonly used to map riparian zones. Focusing on a semi‐arid, mountainous watershed, we found that the most accurate and robust method for mapping riparian zones combines data on upstream drainage area and valley topography. That method performed best regardless of stream order, and was most effective when implemented with fine resolution topographic and stream line data. Other commonly used methods to model riparian zones, such as those based on fixed‐width buffers, yielded inaccurate results. We recommend that until very‐high resolution (
- Policy Frameworks Influencing Outdoor Water‐use Restrictions
- Authors: Anita Milman; Colin Polsky
Abstract: Water‐use efficiency in the United States (U.S.) has improved in recent years. Yet continued population growth coupled with increasingly conservation‐oriented regulatory frameworks suggest that residential water suppliers will have to realize additional efficiency gains in coming decades. Outdoor water‐use restrictions (OWRs) appear to be an increasingly prevalent demand‐side management policy tool. To date little research has investigated the policy mechanisms that govern OWR adoption and influence the prevalence of OWRs. This article fills this gap with an assessment of state‐level policies influencing local‐level restrictions on residential outdoor water use in each of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, and with a detailed illustration of the cross‐scalar dynamic of one state's policy framework in practice. An examination of the implementation of OWRs in 24 neighboring towns in Massachusetts across the 2003‐2012 period indicates the interplay between state‐level and local‐level policies leads to OWRs implementation over extended time‐periods, even when drought conditions are not present. This finding suggests OWRs are being used as a tool for general‐purpose water conservation rather than as a stopgap measure justified by temporary water shortage conditions. Future research should investigate how local‐level water savings vary with differing state‐level approaches.
- Recent Changes in Stream Flashiness and Flooding, and Effects of Flood
Management in North Carolina and Virginia
- Abstract: The southeastern United States has undergone anthropogenic changes in landscape structure, with the potential to increase (e.g., urbanization) and decrease (e.g., reservoir construction) stream flashiness and flooding. Assessment of the outcome of such change can provide insight into the efficacy of current strategies and policies to manage water resources. We (1) examined trends in precipitation, floods, and stream flashiness and (2) assessed the relative influence of land cover and flow‐regulating features (e.g., best management practices and artificial water bodies) on stream flashiness from 1991 to 2013. We found mean annual precipitation decreased, which coincided with decreasing trends in floods. In contrast, stream flashiness, overall, showed an increasing trend during the period of study. However, upon closer examination, 20 watersheds showed stable stream flashiness, whereas 5 increased and 6 decreased in flashiness. Urban watersheds were among those that increased or decreased in flashiness. Watersheds that increased in stream flashiness gained more urban cover, lost more forested cover and had fewer best management practices installed than urban watersheds that decreased in stream flashiness. We found best management practices are more effective than artificial water bodies in regulating flashy floods. Flashiness index is a valuable and straightforward metric to characterize changes in streamflow and help to assess the efficacy of management interventions.
- Nitrate Dynamics in Two Streams Impacted by Wastewater Treatment Plant
Discharge: Point Sources or Sinks?
- Authors: Brian G. Rahm; Nicole B. Hill, Stephen B. Shaw, Susan J. Riha
Abstract: We examined nitrate processing in headwater stream reaches downstream of two wastewater treatment plant outfalls during low streamflow. Our objectives were to quantify nitrate mass flux before and after effluent discharge and to use field and laboratory techniques to assess the mechanism of nitrate uptake. Microcosm experiments were utilized to determine the location of nitrate processing, and molecular biomarkers were used to detect and quantify microbial denitrification. At one site, downstream nitrate mass flux was significantly (p = 0.01) lower than sum of upstream and wastewater effluent fluxes, indicating rapid stream assimilation of incoming nitrate in the vicinity of the point source. Microcosm experiments supported the theory that nitrate processing occurs in sediments. Molecular assays for denitrifcation‐associated functional genes nosZ, nirS, and nirK, provided evidence that effluent contained enriched denitrifying communities relative to ambient stream water. Nitrate loss at the site with greater uptake was correlated with sulfate loss (p
- Discharge and Nutrient Transport between Lakes in a Hydrologically Complex
Area of Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, 2010‐2012
- Authors: Victoria G. Christensen; Eric S. Wakeman, Ryan P. Maki
Abstract: An acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM) was deployed in the narrows between Namakan and Kabetogama Lakes in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, from November 3, 2010, through October 3, 2012. The ADVM can account for wind, seiche, and changing flow direction in hydrologically complex areas. The objectives were to (1) estimate discharge and document the direction of water flow, (2) assess whether specific conductance can be used to determine flow direction, and (3) document nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations at the narrows. The discharge direction through the narrows was seasonal. Water generally flowed out of Kabetogama Lake and into Namakan Lake throughout the ice‐covered season. During spring, water flow was generally from Namakan Lake to Kabetogama Lake. During the summer and fall, the water flowed in both directions, affected in part by wind. Water flowed into Namakan Lake 70% of water year 2011 and 56% of water year 2012. Nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations were highest during the summer months when water‐flow direction was unpredictable. The use of an ADVM was effective for assessing flow direction and provided flow direction under ice. The results indicated the eutrophic Kabetogama Lake may have a negative effect on the more pristine Namakan Lake. The results also provide data on the effects of the current water‐level management plan and may help determine if adjustments are necessary to help protect the aquatic ecosystem of Voyageurs National Park.
- Strengthen Your Journal Article
- Authors: Parker J. Wigington
- Developing Peak Discharges for Future Flood Risk Studies Using IPCC's
CMIP5 Climate Model Results and USGS WREG Program
- Authors: Sivasankkar Selvanathan; Mathini Sreetharan, Krista Rand, Dmitry Smirnov, Janghwoan Choi, Mathew Mampara
Abstract: Extreme climate events, floods, and drought, cause huge impact on daily lives. In order to produce society resilient to extreme events, it is necessary to assess the impact of frequent and high intensity storm events on design parameters. This article describes a methodology to develop future peak “design discharges” throughout the United States that can be used as a guidance to map future floodplains. In order to develop a lower and upper limit for anticipated peak flow discharges, two future growth scenarios — Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)‐RCP 2.6 and 8.5 were identified as the weak and strong climate scenario respectively based on the output from the global climate models. The Generalized Least Square technique in United States Geological Survey's Weighted Multiple Regression (WREG) program was used to develop regression equations that relate peak discharges to basin and climate parameters of the contributing watershed. The design discharges reflect the most recent climate model results. Number of frost days, heavy rainfall days, high temperature days, and snow depth were found to be the common extreme climate parameters influencing the regression equations. This methodology can be extended to other flood frequency events if rainfall data is available. The future discharges can be utilized in hydraulics models to estimate floodplains that can assist in resilient infrastructure planning and outline climate change adaptation strategies.
- Supporting Diverse Data Providers in the Open Water Data Initiative:
Communicating Water Data Quality and Fitness of Use
- Authors: Sara Larsen; Stuart Hamilton, Jessica Lucido, Bradley Garner, Dwane Young
Abstract: Shared, trusted, timely data are essential elements for the cooperation needed to optimize economic, ecologic, and public safety concerns related to water. The Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) will provide a fully scalable platform that can support a wide variety of data from many diverse providers. Many of these will be larger, well‐established, and trusted agencies with a history of providing well‐documented, standardized, and archive‐ready products. However, some potential partners may be smaller, distributed, and relatively unknown or untested as data providers. The data these partners will provide are valuable and can be used to fill in many data gaps, but can also be variable in quality or supplied in nonstandardized formats. They may also reflect the smaller partners' variable budgets and missions, be intermittent, or of unknown provenance. A challenge for the OWDI will be to convey the quality and the contextual “fitness” of data from providers other than the most trusted brands. This article reviews past and current methods for documenting data quality. Three case studies are provided that describe processes and pathways for effective data‐sharing and publication initiatives. They also illustrate how partners may work together to find a metadata reporting threshold that encourages participation while maintaining high data integrity. And lastly, potential governance is proposed that may assist smaller partners with short‐ and long‐term participation in the OWDI.
- Applications of Explicitly Incorporated/Post‐Processing Measurement
Uncertainty in Watershed Modeling
- Authors: Haw Yen; Yamen M. Hoque, Xiuying Wang, Robert Daren Harmel
Abstract: In the field of watershed modeling, the impact of measurement uncertainty (MU) on calibration results indicates the potential issue of inaccurate model predictions. It is important to note that MU refers to the uncertainty in measured data such as flow and nutrient values that are used to evaluate model outputs. The calculation of error statistics assuming measured data are deterministic may not be appropriate as has been frequently stated in literature. Although MU can affect model calibration results, it is rarely incorporated in modeling practice. MU can be incorporated in two schemes: explicitly incorporated (MU‐EI) during model calibration and post‐processed (MU‐PP) after calibration is completed. In this study, both schemes are implemented in a case study of the Arroyo Colorado Watershed, Texas. Unexpectedly, no substantial differences were observed between each scheme for flow predictions. Although MU did not cause dramatic differences in most sediment and NH4‐N predictions, error statistics were affected in cases with MU greater than 50%, especially for sediment and NH4‐N. Therefore, it is concluded that MU may not exert a significant impact on model predictions until certain threshold is reached. This study demonstrates that high levels of uncertainty in measured calibration/validation data significantly affect parameter estimation, especially in the auto‐calibration process.
- Persistence and Microbial Source Tracking of Escherichia coli at a
Swimming Beach at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Missouri
- Authors: Jordan L. Wilson; John G. Schumacher, Joel G. Burken
Abstract: The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has closed or posted advisories at public beaches at Lake of the Ozarks State Park in Missouri because of Escherichia coli (E. coli) concentration exceedances in recent years. Spatial and temporal patterns of E. coli concentrations, microbial source tracking, novel sampling techniques, and beach‐use patterns were studied during the 2012 recreational season to identify possible sources, origins, and occurrence of E. coli contamination at Grand Glaize Beach (GGB). Results indicate an important source of E. coli contamination at GGB was E. coli released into the water column by bathers resuspending avian‐contaminated sediments, especially during high‐use days early in the recreational season. Escherichia coli concentrations in water, sediment, and resuspended sediment samples all decreased throughout the recreational season likely because of decreasing lake levels resulting in sampling locations receding away from the initial spring shoreline as well as natural decay and physical transport out of the cove. Weekly MDNR beach monitoring, based solely on E. coli concentrations, at GGB during this study inaccurately predicted E. coli exceedances, especially on weekends and holidays. Interestingly, E. coli of human origin were measured at concentrations indicative of raw sewage in runoff from an excavation of a nearby abandoned septic tank that had not been used for nearly two years.
- Daily Precipitation Extremes in Iran: Decadal Anomalies and Possible
- Authors: Hossein Tabari; Patrick Willems
Abstract: This study focuses on the empirical statistical analysis of the anomalies in daily precipitation extremes by applying the quantile perturbation method (QPM) to data from 31 Iranian weather stations during the period between 1961 and 2005. The possible causes behind the anomalies in precipitation extremes are identified by analyzing their relationship with the anomalies in eight atmospheric indices (i.e., NAO, SOI, PDO, AMO, NCP, DMI, WeMO, SSN). In terms of decadal oscillations, the country was generally wet in the 1960s and 1970s with most stations exhibiting periods of higher quantile perturbations, whereas lower quantile perturbations were dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. The highest perturbation in extreme precipitation quantiles prevails in Central Iran during the early 1980s, in which the quantiles are about 50% higher than the ones based on the full time series. The frequency of significant precipitation anomalies for winter season was greater than that for spring and autumn seasons. For the summer season, the humid region in North Iran demonstrates strong positive anomalies. The results highlight the noticeable role of large‐scale climatic factors in the anomalous behavior of precipitation extremes in Iran. The atmospheric drivers of the quantile anomalies in extreme precipitation were found to differ from one season to another.
- Assessment of the TRMM 3B42 Precipitation Product in Southern Brazil
- Authors: Cesar Fensterseifer; Daniel G. Allasia, Adriano R. Paz
Abstract: The increase in the use of satellite‐derived precipitation products generated by different methods and algorithms emphasizes the need for a deeper analysis of their quality and accuracy. Using the contingency table method, we evaluated the accuracy of versions 6 and 7 of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Precipitation (TRMM) 3B42 product in southern Brazil by comparing daily precipitation over 13 years (V6 was tested for historical context). The interpolated data from 25 rain gauges were compared with both versions of TRMM. The V7 product tended to produce a slight increase in PC (proportion correct). V7 also showed a slight increase in the correlation coefficient (CC) and a significant increase in the H (hit rate) and CSI (critical success) indexes. However, the upgraded version shows an undesirable increase in the false alarm ratio. When the rainfall volumes were compared, V6 clearly underestimated the total rainfall over the entire period, but the V7 product slightly overestimated the cumulative volume (11%) which still represented a more reliable estimate than from V6. Furthermore, the main improvement in V7 was a large increase in the quantitative recognition of extreme precipitation events: V6 detected only 1% of the daily rainfalls above 60 mm, whereas V7 detected 57% of the events.
- HYSTAR Sediment Model: Distributed Two‐Dimensional Simulation of
Watershed Erosion and Sediment Transport Using Time‐Area Routing
- Authors: Younggu Her; Conrad Heatwole
Abstract: An erosion and sediment transport component incorporated in the HYdrology Simulation using Time‐ARea method (HYSTAR) upland watershed model provides grid‐based prediction of erosion, transport and deposition of sediment in a dynamic, continuous, and fully distributed framework. The model represents the spatiotemporally varied flow in sediment transport simulation by coupling the time‐area routing method and sediment transport capacity approach within a grid‐based spatial data model. This avoids the common, and simplistic, approach of using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) to estimate erosion rates with a delivery ratio to relate gross soil erosion to sediment yield of a watershed, while enabling us to simulate two‐dimensional sediment transport processes without the complexity of numerical solution of the partial differential governing equations. In using the time‐area method for routing sediment, the model offers a novel alternative to watershed‐scale sediment transport simulation that provides detailed spatial representation. In predicting four‐year sediment hydrographs of a watershed in Virginia, the model provided good performance with R2 of 0.82 and 0.78 and relative error of −35% and 11% using the Yalin and Yang's sediment transport capacity equations, respectively. Prediction of spatiotemporal variation in sediment transport processes was evaluated using maps of sediment transport rates, concentrations, and erosion and deposition mass, which compare well with expected behavior of flow hydraulics and sediment transport processes.
- Multivariate Condition Assessment of Watersheds with Linked Micromaps
- Authors: Michael G. McManus; Gregory J. Pond, Lou Reynolds, Michael B. Griffith
Abstract: A challenge for statewide stream monitoring is visualizing the spatial and statistical characteristics of such data to compare the biotic condition of watersheds and relate that condition to watershed‐level estimates of instream variables. We used linked micromaps on stream survey data of 25 subbasins (766‐5,982 km2) for biotic condition, nine water quality, and two habitat variables. Subbasin biotic condition was negatively correlated with conductivity, magnesium and sulfate concentrations, and weakly positively correlated with habitat scores of sedimentation and embeddedness, with higher scores indicating better habitat. Positive spatial autocorrelation was detected among the subbasins in both habitat variables, iron concentration, pH, and exceedances of fecal coliform criteria as shown in linked micromaps. A spatial principal components analysis reduced the 11 environmental variables to two principal axes. The first axis synthesized a gradient of water quality and habitat scores among the subbasins. Subbasin biotic condition regressed on first axis subbasin scores had a significant, negative slope and accounted for 55% of the variation. Subbasins in degraded biotic condition had elevated conductivities and ion concentrations in northern and southern subbasins, and low habitat scores in western subbasins. Through linked micromaps, we compared the biotic condition among subbasins and identified stressors prevalent among subbasins that affected biotic condition.
- Hydrologic Landscape Characterization for the Pacific Northwest, USA
- Authors: Scott G. Leibowitz; Randy L. Comeleo, Parker J. Wigington, Marc H. Weber, Eric A. Sproles, Keith A. Sawicz
Abstract: We update the Wigington et al. () hydrologic landscape (HL) approach to make it more broadly applicable and apply the revised approach to the Pacific Northwest (PNW; i.e., Oregon, Washington, and Idaho). Specific changes incorporated are the use of assessment units based on National Hydrography Dataset Plus V2 catchments, a modified snowmelt model validated over a broader area, an aquifer permeability index that does not require preexisting aquifer permeability maps, and aquifer and soil permeability classes based on uniform criteria. Comparison of Oregon results for the revised and original approaches found fewer and larger assessment units, loss of summer seasonality, and changes in rankings and proportions of aquifer and soil permeability classes. Differences could be explained by three factors: an increased assessment unit size, a reduced number of permeability classes, and use of smaller cutoff values for the permeability classes. The distributions of the revised HLs in five groups of Oregon rivers were similar to the original HLs but less variable. The improvements reported here should allow the revised HL approach to be applied more often in situations requiring hydrologic classification and allow greater confidence in results. We also apply the map results to the development of hydrologic landscape regions.
- A Comparative Assessment of Runoff Nitrogen from Turf, Forest, Meadow, and
Mixed Landuse Watersheds
- Authors: Matthew Bachman; Shreeram Inamdar, Sue Barton, Joshua M. Duke, Doug Tallamy, Jules Bruck
Abstract: Landscaping paradigms that encourage high‐input, intensively managed and mono‐culture turf/lawn landscapes have raised concerns about water quality. We conducted a watershed‐scale assessment of landscaping practices that included turf, urban, forest, native meadow, and mixed landuse watersheds with a professional golf course and a parking lot. The turf site was moderately managed and had lower fertilizer inputs than those typically used by homeowners and golf courses. Stream water sampling was performed during base flow and storm events. Highest nitrate and total nitrogen concentrations in runoff were observed for the mixed watershed draining the golf course. In contrast, concentrations in base flow from the turf watershed were lower than expected and were comparable to those measured in the surrounding meadow and forest sites. Total nitrogen concentrations from the turf site increased sharply during the first storms following fertilization, suggesting that despite optimal management there exists a risk for nutrient runoff following fertilization. Overall, this study suggests that turf or lawns, when managed properly, pose minimal water quality risk to surface waters. Rate, timing of application, and the type of fertilizer appear to be the key factors affecting water quality. Better education of homeowners and landscaping professionals with regard to these factors may be a cost‐effective strategy to reduce nonpoint source pollution.
- Linking Nitrogen Export to Landscape Heterogeneity: The Role of
Infrastructure and Storm Flows in a Mediterranean Urban System
- Authors: James B. McConaghie; Mary L. Cadenasso
Abstract: Urban ecosystems are often sources of nonpoint source (NPS) nitrogen (N) pollution to aquatic ecosystems. However, N export from urban watersheds is highly variable. Examples of densely urbanized watersheds are not well studied, and these may have comparatively low export rates. Commonly used metrics of landscape heterogeneity may obscure our ability to discern relationships among landscape characteristics that can explain these lower export rates. We expected that differences not often captured by these metrics in the relative cover of vegetation, structures, and impervious surfaces would better explain observed variation in N export. We examined these relationships during storms in residential watersheds. Contrary to expectations, land cover did not directly predict variation in N or water export. Instead, N export was strongly linked to drainage infrastructure density. Our research highlights the role of fine‐scaled landscape attributes, mainly infrastructure, in explaining patterns of N export from densely urbanized watersheds. Changes to hydrologic flow paths by infrastructure explained more variation in N export than land cover. Our findings support further development of landscape ecological models of urban N export that focus on hydrologic modification by infrastructure rather than traditional landscape measures such as land use, as indicators for evaluating patterns of NPS nitrogen pollution in densely urbanized watersheds.
- Evaluation of Dynamically Dimensioned Search Algorithm for Optimizing
SWAT by Altering Sampling Distributions and Searching Range
- Authors: Haw Yen; Jaehak Jeong, Douglas R. Smith
Abstract: The primary advantage of Dynamically Dimensioned Search (DDS) algorithm is that it outperforms other optimization techniques in both convergence speed and searching ability for parameter sets that satisfy statistical guidelines while requiring only one algorithm parameter (perturbation factor) in the optimization process. Conventionally, a default value of 0.2 is used as the perturbation factor, where a normal distribution is applied with mean sampling distribution of zero and variance of one. However, the perturbation factor sensitivity to the performance of DDS for watershed modeling is still unknown. The fixed‐form sampling distribution may result in finding parameters at the local scale rather than global in the sampling space. In this study, the efficiency of DDS was evaluated by altering the perturbation factor (from 0.05 to 1.00) and the selection of sampling distribution (normal and uniform) on hydrologic and water quality predictions in a lowland agricultural watershed in Texas, United States. Results show that the use of altered perturbation factor may cause variations in convergence speed or the ability to find better solutions. In addition, DDS results were found to be very sensitive to sampling distribution selections, where DDS‐N (normal distribution) outperformed DDS‐U (uniform distribution) in all case scenarios. The choice of sampling distributions could be the potential major factor to be attributed for the performance of auto‐calibration techniques for watershed simulation models.
- From Global to Local: Providing Actionable Flood Forecast Information in a
Cloud‐Based Computing Environment
- Authors: J. Fidel Perez; Nathan R. Swain, Herman G. Dolder, Scott D. Christensen, Alan D. Snow, E. James Nelson, Norman L. Jones
Abstract: Global and continental scale flood forecast provide coarse resolution flood forecast, but from the perspective of emergency management, flood warnings should be detailed and specific to local conditions. The desired refinement can be provided by the use of downscaling global scale models and through the use of distributed hydrologic models to produce a high‐resolution flood forecast. Three major challenges associated with transforming global flood forecasting to a local scale are addressed in this work. The first is using open‐source software tools to provide access to multiple data sources and lowering the barriers for users in management agencies at local level. This can be done through the Tethys Platform that enables web water resources modeling applications. The second is finding a practical solution for the computational requirements associated with running complex models and performing multiple simulations. This is done using Tethys Cluster that manages distributed and cloud computing resources as a companion to the Tethys Platform for web app development. The third challenge is discovering ways to downscale the forecasts from the global extent to the local context. Three modeling strategies have been tested to address this, including downscaling of coarse resolution global runoff models to high‐resolution stream networks and routing with Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge (RAPID), the use of hierarchical Gridded Surface and Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) distributed models, and pre‐computed distributed GSSHA models.
- The Road to NHDPlus — Advancements in Digital Stream Networks and
- Authors: Richard B. Moore; Thomas G. Dewald
Abstract: A progression of advancements in Geographic Information Systems techniques for hydrologic network and associated catchment delineation has led to the production of the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus). NHDPlus is a digital stream network for hydrologic modeling with catchments and a suite of related geospatial data. Digital stream networks with associated catchments provide a geospatial framework for linking and integrating water‐related data. Advancements in the development of NHDPlus are expected to continue to improve the capabilities of this national geospatial hydrologic framework. NHDPlus is built upon the medium‐resolution NHD and, like NHD, was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey to support the estimation of streamflow and stream velocity used in fate‐and‐transport modeling. Catchments included with NHDPlus were created by integrating vector information from the NHD and from the Watershed Boundary Dataset with the gridded land surface elevation as represented by the National Elevation Dataset. NHDPlus is an actively used and continually improved dataset. Users recognize the importance of a reliable stream network and associated catchments. The NHDPlus spatial features and associated data tables will continue to be improved to support regional water quality and streamflow models and other user‐defined applications.
- Eco‐hydraulic Evaluation of a Whitewater Park as a Fish Passage
- Authors: Brian D. Fox; Brian P. Bledsoe, Eleanor Kolden, Matthew C. Kondratieff, Christopher A. Myrick
Abstract: Whitewater parks (WWPs) typically consist of instream structures that enhance recreational boating by constricting flow into a steep chute that generates a hydraulic jump in a downstream pool. Concerns have been raised that high velocities resulting from WWPs may be inhibiting fish movement during critical life stages. We evaluated the effects of WWPs on upstream fish passage by concurrently monitoring fish movement and hydraulic conditions at three WWP structures and three adjacent natural control (CR) sites in a wadeable river in northern Colorado. Fish movement was tracked with a network of Passive Integrated Transponder antennas over a 14‐month period. Individual fishes (n = 1,639), including brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), were tagged and released within WWP and CR sites. Detailed hydraulic conditions occurring during the study period were evaluated with a fully 3D model. Results reveal the WWPs monitored in this study are not a complete barrier to upstream salmonid movement, but differences in passage efficiency from release location range from 29 to 44% in WWP sites and 37 to 63% for CR sites and the suppression of movement is related to body length. Small numbers of monitored nonsalmonids were inadequate to directly observe effects on their movement; however, it is highly probable that movement of smaller native fishes is also suppressed. Hydraulic modeling helps in the design of WWP structures that protect fish passage.
- Temporal Trends in the Spatial Distribution of Impervious Cover Relative
to Stream Location
- Authors: J. Wickham; A. Neale, M. Mehaffey, T. Jarnagin, D. Norton
Abstract: Use of impervious cover is transitioning from an indicator of surface water condition to one that also guides and informs watershed planning and management, including Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq.) reporting. Whether it is for understanding surface water condition or planning and management, impervious cover is most commonly expressed as summary measurement (e.g., percentage watershed in impervious cover). We use the National Land Cover Database to estimate impervious cover in the vicinity of surface waters for three time periods (2001, 2006, 2011). We also compare impervious cover in the vicinity of surface waters to watershed summary estimates of impervious cover for classifying the spatial pattern of impervious cover. Between 2001 and 2011, surface water shorelines (streams and water bodies) in the vicinity of impervious cover increased nearly 10,000 km. Across all time periods, approximately 27% of the watersheds in the continental United States had proximally distributed impervious cover, i.e., the percentage of impervious cover in the vicinity of surface waters was higher than its watershed summary expression. We discuss how impervious cover spatial pattern can be used to inform watershed planning and management, including reporting under the Clean Water Act.
- Emerging Tools for Continuous Nutrient Monitoring Networks: Sensors
Advancing Science and Water Resources Protection
- Authors: Brian A. Pellerin; Beth A. Stauffer, Dwane A. Young, Daniel J. Sullivan, Suzanne B. Bricker, Mark R. Walbridge, Gerard A. Clyde, Denice M. Shaw
Abstract: Sensors and enabling technologies are becoming increasingly important tools for water quality monitoring and associated water resource management decisions. In particular, nutrient sensors are of interest because of the well‐known adverse effects of nutrient enrichment on coastal hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and impacts to human health. Accurate and timely information on nutrient concentrations and loads is integral to strategies designed to minimize risk to humans and manage the underlying drivers of water quality impairment. Using nitrate sensors as the primary example, we highlight the types of applications in freshwater and coastal environments that are likely to benefit from continuous, real‐time nutrient data. The concurrent emergence of new tools to integrate, manage, and share large datasets is critical to the successful use of nutrient sensors and has made it possible for the field of continuous monitoring to rapidly move forward. We highlight several near‐term opportunities for federal agencies, as well as the broader scientific and management community, that will help accelerate sensor development, build and leverage sites within a national network, and develop open data standards and data management protocols that are key to realizing the benefits of a large‐scale, integrated monitoring network. Investing in these opportunities will provide new information to guide management and policies designed to protect and restore our nation's water resources.
- Weighting Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pixel Pollutant Loads to Represent
Runoff and Buffering Likelihoods
- Authors: Emily A. Stephan; Theodore A. Endreny
Abstract: Watershed models often estimate annual nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) pollutant loads in rural areas with export coefficient (EC) (kg/ha/yr) values based on land cover, and in urban areas as the product of spatially uniform event mean concentration (EMC) (mg/L) values and runoff volume. Actual N and P nonpoint source (NPS) pollutant loading has more spatial complexity due to watershed variation in runoff likelihood and buffering likelihood along surface and subsurface pathways, which can be represented in a contributing area dispersal area (CADA) NPS model. This research develops a CADA NPS model to simulate how watershed properties of elevation, land cover, and soils upslope and downslope of each watershed pixel influence nutrient loading. The model uses both surface and subsurface runoff indices (RI), and surface and subsurface buffer indices (BI), to quantify the runoff and buffering likelihood for each watershed pixel, and generate maps of weighted EC and EMC values that identify NPS pollutant loading hotspots. The research illustrates how CADA NPS model maps and pixel loading values are sensitive to the spatial resolution and accuracy of elevation and land cover data, and model predictions can represent the lower and upper bounds of NPS loading. The model provides managers with a tool to rapidly visualize, rank, and investigate likely areas of high nutrient export.
- Extracting Snow Cover Time Series Data from Open Access Web Mapping Tile
- Abstract: The probability of the presence of snow cover at a given location over time is a critical input to hydrologic simulation models in snowpack‐driven watersheds. While a number of open access web mapping tile services exist for viewing images of current and historical snow cover over large regions, no equally accessible tools exist for extracting numerical time series data of snow cover probability defined at particular point locations. This article presents the design, development, and testing of a new open source script and web application for snow cover probability time series extraction from map images. The script is deployed as a web app using the Tethys framework making it accessible to novice users through a user interface. A WaterML web‐API gives access to third‐party applications for automation and embedding in modeling tools. The full design of the script is presented such that it can serve as a model for similar or extended tools that may be developed by others. A set of use case experiments is presented demonstrating the full functionality of the script and its limitations, and an example application for ground validation of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer snow cover dataset is discussed.
- Water Supply Reliability Tradeoffs between Removing Reservoir Storage and
Improving Water Conveyance in California
- Authors: Sarah E. Null
Abstract: Population growth, climate change, aging infrastructure, and changing societal values alter how water must be managed in the 21st Century. O'Shaughnessy Dam, located in Yosemite National Park, has been identified as a possible candidate for dam removal. It is a component of San Francisco's Hetch Hetchy System and is operated for water supply and hydropower. This article describes a spatially scaled approach to analyze water reliability without O'Shaughnessy Dam, but with improved water conveyance between the Hetch Hetchy System and existing reservoirs and aqueducts at the watershed, regional Bay Area, and statewide scales. It broadens previous research to highlight larger scale implications of removing O'Shaughnessy Dam and evaluates the role of improved water conveyance for water management. CALifornia Value Integrated Network, a large‐scale hydro‐economic model evaluates intertied water management using estimated urban and agricultural water demands for year 2050 with 72‐year historical and warm, dry hydrologic conditions. Results suggest that O'Shaughnessy Dam can be removed with additional conveyance at any spatial scale while maintaining water reliability. With a warm, dry climate, water reliability, and storage decline, indicating removing O'Shaughnessy Dam may have less effect on water management than climate change when conveyance is improved between the Hetch Hetchy System and nearby systems. Improving water conveyance can sometimes substitute for water storage in storage‐rich watersheds.
- Management of Large Wood in Streams: An Overview and Proposed Framework
for Hazard Evaluation
- Authors: Ellen Wohl; Brian P. Bledsoe, Kurt D. Fausch, Natalie Kramer, Kevin R. Bestgen, Michael N. Gooseff
Abstract: Instream and floodplain wood can provide many benefits to river ecosystems, but can also create hazards for inhabitants, infrastructure, property, and recreational users in the river corridor. We propose a decision process for managing large wood, and particularly for assessing the relative benefits and hazards associated with individual wood pieces and with accumulations of wood. This process can be applied at varying levels of effort, from a relatively cursory visual assessment to more detailed numerical modeling. Decisions to retain, remove, or modify wood in a channel or on a floodplain are highly dependent on the specific context: the same piece of wood that might require removal in a highly urbanized setting may provide sufficient benefits to justify retention in a natural area or lower‐risk urban setting. The proposed decision process outlined here can be used by individuals with diverse technical backgrounds and in a range of urban to natural river reaches so that opportunities for wood retention or enhancement are increased.
- Downstream Dissipation of Storm Flow Heat Pulses: A Case Study and its
- Authors: Kayleigh A. Somers; Emily S. Bernhardt, Brian L. McGlynn, Dean L. Urban
Abstract: Storms in urban areas route heat and other pollutants from impervious surfaces, via drainage networks, into streams with well‐described negative consequences on physical structure and biological integrity. We used heat pulses associated with urban storms as a tracer for pavement‐derived stormwater inputs, providing a conservative estimate of the frequency with which these pollutants are transported into and through protected stream reaches. Our study was conducted within a 1.5‐km reach in Durham, North Carolina, whose headwaters begin in suburban stormwater pipes before flowing through 1 km of protected, 100‐year‐old forest. We recorded heat‐pulse magnitudes and distances travelled downstream, analyzing how they varied with storm and antecedent flow conditions. We found heat pulses >1°C traveled more than 1 km downstream of urban inputs in 11 storms over one year. This best‐case management scenario of a reach within a protected forest shows that urban impacts can travel far downstream of inputs. Air temperature and flow intensity controlled heat‐pulse magnitude, while heat‐pulse size, mean flow, and total precipitation controlled dissipation distance. As temperatures and sudden storms intensify with climate change, heat‐pulse magnitude and dissipation distance will likely increase. Streams in urbanized landscapes, such as Durham municipality, where 98.9% of streams are within 1 downstream km of stormwater outfalls, will be increasingly impacted by urban stormwaters.
- Estimating Evapotranspiration for Dryland Cropping Systems in the Semiarid
Texas High Plains Using SWAT
- Authors: Gary W. Marek; Prasanna H. Gowda, Steven R. Evett, R. Louis Baumhardt, David K. Brauer, Terry A. Howell, Thomas H. Marek, R. Srinivasan
Abstract: The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is one of the most widely used watershed models for simulating hydrology in response to agricultural management practices. However, limited studies have been performed to evaluate the SWAT model's ability to estimate daily and monthly evapotranspiration (ET) in semiarid regions. ET values were simulated using ArcSWAT 2012 for a lysimeter field managed under dryland conditions at the USDA‐ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory at Bushland, Texas, and compared with measured lysimeter values from 2000 to 2010. Two scenarios were performed to compare SWAT's performance: (1) use of default plant leaf area index (LAI) values in the embedded plant database and (2) adjusted LAI values. Scenario 1 resulted in an “unsatisfactory” Nash‐Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.42 and 0.38 for the calibration and validation periods, respectively. Scenario 2 resulted in a “satisfactory” NSE value for the calibration period while achieving a “good” NSE of 0.70 for the validation period. SWAT generally underestimated ET at both the daily and monthly levels. Overestimation during fallow years may be due to the limitations of the pothole function used to simulate furrow diking. Users should be aware of potential errors associated with using default LAI parameters. Inaccuracies in ET estimation may also stem from errors in the plant stress functions, particularly when evaluating water management practices for dryland watersheds.
- Hydroshare: Sharing Diverse Environmental Data Types and Models as Social
Objects with Application to the Hydrology Domain
- Authors: Jeffery S. Horsburgh; Mohamed M. Morsy, Anthony M. Castronova, Jonathan L. Goodall, Tian Gan, Hong Yi, Michael J. Stealey, David G. Tarboton
Abstract: The types of data and models used within the hydrologic science community are diverse. New repositories have succeeded in making data and models more accessible, but are, in most cases, limited to particular types or classes of data or models and also lack the type of collaborative and iterative functionality needed to enable shared data collection and modeling workflows. File sharing systems currently used within many scientific communities for private sharing of preliminary and intermediate data and modeling products do not support collaborative data capture, description, visualization, and annotation. In this article, we cast hydrologic datasets and models as “social objects” that can be published, collaborated around, annotated, discovered, and accessed. This article describes the generic data model and content packaging scheme for diverse hydrologic datasets and models used by a new hydrologic collaborative environment called HydroShare to enable storage, management, sharing, publication, and annotation of the diverse types of data and models used by hydrologic scientists. The flexibility of HydroShare's data model and packaging scheme is demonstrated using multiple hydrologic data and model use cases that highlight its features.