Predicting natural streamflows in regulated snowmelt-driven watersheds using regionalization methods

Kim, D.; Kaluarachchi, J.
July 2013
Hydrology & Earth System Sciences Discussions;2013, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p9435
Academic Journal
Predicting streamflows in snow-fed watersheds in the Western United States is important for water allocation. Since many of these watersheds are heavily regulated through canal networks and reservoirs, predicting expected natural flows and therefore water availability under limited data is always a challenge. This study investigates the applicability of the flow duration curve (FDC) method for predicting natural flows in gauged and ungauged snow-fed watersheds. Point snow observations, air temperature, precipitation, and snow water equivalent, are used to simulate snowmelt process with SNOW-17 model and extended to streamflow generation by a FDC method with modified current precipitation index. For regulated (ungauged) watersheds, a parametric regional FDC method is applied to reconstruct natural flow. For comparison, a simplified Tank Model is used as well. The proximity regionalization method is used to generate streamflow using the Tank Model in ungauged watersheds. The results show that the FDC method can produce acceptable natural flow estimates in both gauged and ungauged watersheds under data limited conditions. The performance of the FDC method is better in watersheds with relatively low evapotranspiration (ET). Multiple donor data sets including current precipitation index are recommended to reduce uncertainty of the regional FDC method for ungauged watersheds. In spite of its simplicity, the FDC method can perform better than the Tank Model under minimal data availability.


Related Articles

  • Stable water isotope variation in a Central Andean watershed dominated by glacier and snowmelt. Ohlanders, N.; Rodriguez, M.; McPhee, J. // Hydrology & Earth System Sciences;2013, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p1035 

    Central Chile is an economically important region for which water supply is dependent on snow- and ice melt. Nevertheless, the relative contribution of water supplied by each of those two sources remains largely unknown. This study represents the first attempt to estimate the region's water...

  • Snow cover variation and streamflow simulation in a snow-fed river basin of the Northwest Himalaya. Sharma, Vaibhav; Mishra, V.; Joshi, P. // Journal of Mountain Science;Dec2012, Vol. 9 Issue 6, p853 

    Snowmelt is an important component of any snow-fed river system. The Jhelum River is one such transnational mountain river flowing through India and Pakistan. The basin is minimally glacierized and its discharge is largely governed by seasonal snow cover and snowmelt. Therefore, accurate...

  • Controls on groundwater response and runoff source area dynamics in a snowmelt-dominated montane catchment. Smith, R. S.; Moore, R. D.; Weiler, M.; Jost, G. // Hydrology & Earth System Sciences Discussions;2013, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p2549 

    The role of spatial variability in water inputs on runoff source area dynamics has generally not received as much research attention as topography and soils; however, the influence of topography and forest cover on snow surface energy exchanges can result in asynchronous snowmelt throughout a...

  • Controls on hydrologic similarity: role of nearby gauged catchments for prediction at an ungauged catchment. Patil, S.; Stieglitz, M. // Hydrology & Earth System Sciences Discussions;2011, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p9323 

    Prediction of streamflows at ungauged catchments requires transfer of hydrologic information (e.g., model parameters, hydrologic indices, streamflow values) from gauged (donor) to ungauged (receiver) catchments. One of the most reliable metrics for selection of ideal donor catchments is the...

  • Stream flow allocation in arid watersheds: a case study in Northwestern China. He, C.; Zhang, L.; Fu, L.; Luo, Y.; Li, L.; DeMarchi, C. // Hydrology & Earth System Sciences Discussions;2012, Vol. 9 Issue 7, p8941 

    This paper proposes a framework for allocating water resources among the upper, middle, and lower reaches of arid watersheds to meet the multiple demands for water, including rehabilitation of downstream ecosystem. The framework includes: (1) hydrologic simulation of distribution of water...

  • Socio-hydrological water balance for water allocation between human and environmental purposes in catchments. Zhou, S.; Huang, Y.; Wei, Y.; Wang, G. // Hydrology & Earth System Sciences;2015, Vol. 19 Issue 8, p3715 

    Rebalancing water allocation between human consumptive uses and the environment in water catchments is a global challenge. This paper proposes a socio-hydrological water balance framework by partitioning catchment total evapotranspiration (ET) into ET for society and ET for natural ecological...

  • Early melt season snowpack isotopic evolution in the Tarfala valley, northern Sweden. DAHLKE, Helen E.; LYON, Steve W. // Annals of Glaciology;2013, Vol. 54 Issue 62, p149 

    This study investigated the stable water isotopic (δ18O and δD) evolution of two snowpacks located at the same elevation on a north-facing (Nf) and a south-facing (Sf) slope within the Tarfala research catchment, northern Sweden, and the potential impact of pre-freshet snowpack melt on...

  • Estimation of Snowmelt Infiltration into Frozen Ground and Snowmelt Runoff in the Mogot Experimental Watershed in East Siberia. Kazuyoshi Suzuki // International Journal of Geosciences;Dec2013, Vol. 4 Issue 10, p1346 

    Understanding how spring runoff is generated in East Siberia during the spring thaw is important to predicting river flows. To evaluate the snowmelt runoff generated, a simple runoff model was developed. The model involves processes of water and energy balance within the snowpack and energy...

  • The response of Iberian rivers to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Lorenzo-Lacruz, J.; Vicente-Serrano, S. M.; Löpez-Moreno, J. I.; González-Hidalgo, J. C.; Morán-Tejeda, E. // Hydrology & Earth System Sciences Discussions;2011, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p4459 

    In this study we analyzed the influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the streamflow in 187 sub-basins of the Iberian Peninsula. Monthly and one-month lagged correlations were conducted to assess the spatio-temporal extent of the NAO influence on Iberian river discharges. Analysis...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics