Evaluating groundwater surface water interactions across the Continental U.S. using an integrated hydrologic model

2017 Fall Cyberseminar Series

Laura Condon / Syracuse University

Talk Description:

Large-scale, high-resolution hydrologic simulations provide new opportunities to address outstanding scientific questions in complex integrated systems. We use a fully integrated hydrologic model to simulate physically based dynamic interactions from the groundwater through the land surface at 1 km2 spatial resolution across more than 6,000,000 km2 of continental US.  This is accomplished with ParFlow-CLM, which incorporates 3D variably saturated groundwater flow, overland flow and a fully coupled water energy balance at the land surface.  Model outputs are used to characterize groundwater surface water exchanges across a wide range of hydroclimatic settings and spatial scales. We evaluate patterns in groundwater depth, land energy partitioning and basin productivity to identify areas of strong interaction between the surface and subsurface.  Results illustrate the importance of lateral groundwater flow in supporting surface water availability and moderating temporal variability in many settings. Predevelopment and groundwater pumping scenarios are also compared to evaluate the sensitivity of land energy fluxes to large-scale declines in groundwater storage. Using these scenarios, we demonstrate how human alterations to groundwater configuration can propagate through hydrologic systems and impact streamflow and land energy fluxes.

CUAHSI's 2017 Fall Cyberseminar Series: Towards a Global Integrated Hydrology Platform: Perspectives and Advances in Large-scale Modeling

Host: Reed Maxwell, Rowlinson Professor of Hydrology (Colorado School of Mines)

Questions critical to human water use and environmental change increasingly require approaches that incorporate interconnected hydrologic processes and bridge a wide range of spatial scales. These needs have pushed models forward in both process complexity and spatial extent. Hydrology models that include connections between groundwater, surface water, land surface processes, human water use and even the atmosphere are now running at high resolution over continents and across the globe. This seminar series highlights recent research from four groups working to advance large-scale hydrologic modeling. Starting with a global perspective, these seminars will discuss various success stories and challenges as the hydrology community advances an integrated perspective of Earth’s freshwater.