Matching Items (20)

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Distributed hydrologic modeling of a sparsely monitored basin in Sardinia, Italy, through hydrometeorological downscaling

Description

The water resources and hydrologic extremes in Mediterranean basins are heavily influenced by climate variability. Modeling these watersheds is difficult due to the complex nature of the hydrologic response as

The water resources and hydrologic extremes in Mediterranean basins are heavily influenced by climate variability. Modeling these watersheds is difficult due to the complex nature of the hydrologic response as well as the sparseness of hydrometeorological observations. In this work, we present a strategy to calibrate a distributed hydrologic model, known as TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS), in the Rio Mannu basin (RMB), a medium-sized watershed (472.5 km[superscript 2]) located in an agricultural area in Sardinia, Italy. In the RMB, precipitation, streamflow and meteorological data were collected within different historical periods and at diverse temporal resolutions. We designed two statistical tools for downscaling precipitation and potential evapotranspiration data to create the hourly, high-resolution forcing for the hydrologic model from daily records. Despite the presence of several sources of uncertainty in the observations and model parameterization, the use of the disaggregated forcing led to good calibration and validation performances for the tRIBS model, when daily discharge observations were available. The methodology proposed here can be also used to disaggregate outputs of climate models and conduct high-resolution hydrologic simulations with the goal of quantifying the impacts of climate change on water resources and the frequency of hydrologic extremes within medium-sized basins.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-24

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Quantification of hydrologic impacts of climate change in a Mediterranean basin in Sardinia, Italy, through high-resolution simulations

Description

Future climate projections robustly indicate that the Mediterranean region will experience a significant decrease of mean annual precipitation and an increase in temperature. These changes are expected to seriously affect

Future climate projections robustly indicate that the Mediterranean region will experience a significant decrease of mean annual precipitation and an increase in temperature. These changes are expected to seriously affect the hydrologic regime, with a limitation of water availability and an intensification of hydrologic extremes, and to negatively impact local economies. In this study, we quantify the hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Rio Mannu basin (RMB), an agricultural watershed of 472.5 km[superscript 2] in Sardinia, Italy. To simulate the wide range of runoff generation mechanisms typical of Mediterranean basins, we adopted a physically based, distributed hydrologic model. The high-resolution forcings in reference and future conditions (30-year records for each period) were provided by four combinations of global and regional climate models, bias-corrected and downscaled in space and time (from ~25 km, 24 h to 5 km, 1 h) through statistical tools. The analysis of the hydrologic model outputs indicates that the RMB is expected to be severely impacted by future climate change. The range of simulations consistently predict (i) a significant diminution of mean annual runoff at the basin outlet, mainly due to a decreasing contribution of the runoff generation mechanisms depending on water available in the soil; (ii) modest variations in mean annual runoff and intensification of mean annual discharge maxima in flatter sub-basins with clay and loamy soils, likely due to a higher occurrence of infiltration excess runoff; (iii) reduction of soil water content and actual evapotranspiration in most areas of the basin; and (iv) a drop in the groundwater table. Results of this study are useful to support the adoption of adaptive strategies for management and planning of agricultural activities and water resources in the region.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12-15

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Closing the water balance with cosmic-ray soil moisture measurements and assessing their relation to evapotranspiration in two semiarid watersheds

Description

Soil moisture dynamics reflect the complex interactions of meteorological conditions with soil, vegetation and terrain properties. In this study, intermediate-scale soil moisture estimates from the cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) method

Soil moisture dynamics reflect the complex interactions of meteorological conditions with soil, vegetation and terrain properties. In this study, intermediate-scale soil moisture estimates from the cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) method are evaluated for two semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern United States: a mesquite savanna at the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER) and a mixed shrubland at the Jornada Experimental Range (JER). Evaluations of the CRNS method are performed for small watersheds instrumented with a distributed sensor network consisting of soil moisture sensor profiles, an eddy covariance tower, and runoff flumes used to close the water balance. We found a very good agreement between the CRNS method and the distributed sensor network (root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.009 and 0.013 m[superscript 3] m[superscript −3] at SRER and JER, respectively) at the hourly timescale over the 19-month study period, primarily due to the inclusion of 5 cm observations of shallow soil moisture. Good agreement was also obtained in soil moisture changes estimated from the CRNS and watershed water balance methods (RMSE of 0.001 and 0.082 m[superscript 3] m[superscript −3] at SRER and JER, respectively), with deviations due to bypassing of the CRNS measurement depth during large rainfall events. Once validated, the CRNS soil moisture estimates were used to investigate hydrological processes at the footprint scale at each site. Through the computation of the water balance, we showed that drier-than-average conditions at SRER promoted plant water uptake from deeper soil layers, while the wetter-than-average period at JER resulted in percolation towards deeper soils. The CRNS measurements were then used to quantify the link between evapotranspiration and soil moisture at a commensurate scale, finding similar predictive relations at both sites that are applicable to other semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern US.

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Date Created
  • 2016-01-19

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Spatial Distribution of Extreme Rainfall Associated with the Monsoon Season of 2014 in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

The storm events of summer 2014 proved to be some of the highest on record for Maricopa County. Flash flooding has been an ongoing issue within Arizona during the monsoon

The storm events of summer 2014 proved to be some of the highest on record for Maricopa County. Flash flooding has been an ongoing issue within Arizona during the monsoon season due to the remnants of hurricanes that result in short, high intensity storms. The proximity of these intense storm events and their corresponding flooding structures is imperative in reducing the impact of these events on the community. The analysis of the maximum precipitation events for Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Goodyear, Peoria, Avondale and Glendale during the summer of 2014 proved that there were many events that had a calculated recurrence of 100 years or greater. The storm event with the most precipitation events with a recurrence of 100 years or greater was September 8, 2014. This storm event also produced a streamflow response that had the highest recorded streamflow at gages near the events with a 100 year recurrence. These intervals represent a larger amount of rain during a precipitation event and this correlation suggests that short burst of extreme weather was not a trend in this data. Rather, high storm events occurred over the span of 24 hours. The most frequent response of the stream gage to this rain event was a streamflow event that has a recurrence of 2-5 years. This suggests that the channels and flooding structures used to contain the rain events were effective in reducing the amount of water and therefore effectively managing the flooding response. An analysis of newspaper commentary and an interview with a representative from the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC) indicated that there is a disconnect between public perception and the structure of FCDMC. Through this analysis a better understanding of the FCDMC as well as the impact of severe storm events in Maricopa County was found.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Using InSAR to Investigate Injection-Induced Deformation and Seismicity in Timpson, Texas

Description

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become a common practice in United States oil fields for enhancing their productivity. Among the concerns regarding fracking, however, is the possibility that it could

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become a common practice in United States oil fields for enhancing their productivity. Among the concerns regarding fracking, however, is the possibility that it could trigger shallow earthquakes. The brine that results from fracking is injected into the subsurface for disposal. This brine causes a pore pressure gradient that is commonly believed to trigger failure along critically stressed subsurface faults. In Timpson, a small city in eastern Texas, earthquakes have become much more common since two injection wells were installed in 2007. 16 events of M_W > 2 have been detected since 2008 and are believed to be associated with failure along a subsurface fault. Applying interferometric synthetic aperture radar, we analyzed 3 sets of SAR images from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) from May 2007 to December 2010. Using these data sets, XX interferograms were generated. From these interferograms, it was possible to determine the spatial and temporal evolution of the crustal deformation in the line-of-sight of the satellite. The results show strong evidence of uplift in the region adjacent to the injection wells. While previous studies have established a strong connection between fluid injection and increased seismicity, this is to our knowledge the first observed case of crustal deformation that has been observed as a result of hydraulic fracturing fluid disposal.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A climate change projection for summer hydrologic conditions in a semiarid watershed of central Arizona

Description

Potential climate change impacts on summer precipitation and subsequent hydrologic responses in the southwestern U.S. are poorly constrained at present due to a lack of studies accounting for high resolution

Potential climate change impacts on summer precipitation and subsequent hydrologic responses in the southwestern U.S. are poorly constrained at present due to a lack of studies accounting for high resolution processes. In this investigation, we apply a distributed hydrologic model to the Beaver Creek watershed of central Arizona to explore its utility for climate change assessments. Manual model calibration and model validation were performed using radar-based precipitation data during three summers and compared to two alternative meteorological products to illustrate the sensitivity of the streamflow response. Using the calibrated and validated model, we investigated the watershed response during historical (1990–2000) and future (2031–2040) summer projections derived from a single realization of a mesoscale model forced with boundary conditions from a general circulation model under a high emissions scenario. Results indicate spatially-averaged changes across the two projections: an increase in air temperature of 1.2 °C, a 2.4-fold increase in precipitation amount and a 3-fold increase in variability, and a 3.1-fold increase in streamflow amount and a 5.1-fold increase in variability. Nevertheless, relatively minor changes were obtained in spatially-averaged evapotranspiration. To explain this, we used the simulated hydroclimatological mechanisms to identify that higher precipitation limits radiation through cloud cover leading to lower evapotranspiration in regions with orographic effects. This challenges conventional wisdom on evapotranspiration trends and suggest that a more nuanced approach is needed to communicate hydrologic vulnerability to stakeholders and decision-makers in this semiarid region.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-01

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Ecohydrology with unmanned aerial vehicles

Description

High-resolution characterizations and predictions are a grand challenge for ecohydrology. Recent advances in flight control, robotics and miniaturized sensors using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide an unprecedented opportunity for characterizing,

High-resolution characterizations and predictions are a grand challenge for ecohydrology. Recent advances in flight control, robotics and miniaturized sensors using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide an unprecedented opportunity for characterizing, monitoring and modeling ecohydrologic systems at high-resolution (<1 m) over a range of scales. How can the ecologic and hydrologic communities most effectively use UAVs for advancing the state of the art? This Innovative Viewpoints paper introduces the utility of two classes of UAVs for ecohydrologic investigations in two semiarid rangelands of the southwestern U.S. through two useful examples. We discuss the UAV deployments, the derived image, terrain and vegetation products and their usefulness for ecohydrologic studies at two different scales. Within a land-atmosphere interaction study, we utilize high-resolution imagery products from a rotary-wing UAV to characterize an eddy covariance footprint and scale up environmental sensor network observations to match the time-varying sampling area. Subsequently, in a surface and subsurface interaction study within a small watershed, we demonstrate the use of a fixed-wing UAV to characterize the spatial distribution of terrain attributes and vegetation conditions which serve as input to a distributed ecohydrologic model whose predictions compared well with an environmental sensor network. We also point to several challenges in performing ecohydrology with UAVs with the intent of promoting this new self-service (do-it-yourself) model for high-resolution image acquisition over many scales. We believe unmanned aerial vehicles can fundamentally change how ecohydrologic science is conducted and offer ways to merge remote sensing, environmental sensor networks and numerical models.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-10-01

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Modeling occurrence and assessing public perceptions of de facto wastewater reuse across the USA

Description

The National Research Council 2011 report lists quantifying the extent of de facto (or unplanned) potable reuse in the U.S. as the top research need associated with assessing the potential

The National Research Council 2011 report lists quantifying the extent of de facto (or unplanned) potable reuse in the U.S. as the top research need associated with assessing the potential for expanding the nations water supply through reuse of municipal wastewater. Efforts to identify the significance and potential health impacts of de facto water reuse are impeded by out dated information regarding the contribution of municipal wastewater effluent to potable water supplies. This project aims to answer this research need. The overall goal of the this project is to quantify the extent of de facto reuse by developing a model that estimates the amount of wastewater effluent that is present within drinking water treatment plants; and to use the model in conjunction with a survey to help assess public perceptions. The four-step approach to accomplish this goal includes: (1) creating a GIS-based model coupled with Python programming; (2) validating the model with field studies by analyzing sucralose as a wastewater tracer; (3) estimating the percentage of wastewater in raw drinking water sources under varying streamflow conditions; (4) and assessing through a social survey the perceptions of the general public relating to acceptance and occurrence of de facto reuse. The resulting De Facto Reuse in our Nations Consumable Supply (DRINCS) Model, estimates that treated municipal wastewater is present at nearly 50% of drinking water treatment plant intake sites serving greater than 10,000 people (N=2,056). Contrary to the high frequency of occurrence, the magnitude of occurrence is relatively low with 50% of impacted intakes yielding less than 1% de facto reuse under average streamflow conditions. Model estimates increase under low flow conditions (modeled by Q95), in several cases treated wastewater makes up 100% of the water supply. De facto reuse occurs at levels that surpass what is publically perceived in the three cities of Atlanta, GA, Philadelphia, PA, and Phoenix, AZ. Respondents with knowledge of de facto reuse occurrence are 10 times more likely to have a high acceptance (greater than 75%) of treated wastewater at their home tap.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The shift of precipitation maxima on the annual maximum series using regional climate model precipitation data

Description

Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to

Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to climate change using present-day and future-day climate scenarios. RCMs emulate winter storms and one-day duration events at the sub-regional level. Annual maximum series were derived for each model pairing, each modeling period; and for annual and winter seasons. The reliability ensemble average (REA) method was used to qualify each RCM annual maximum series to reproduce historical records and approximate average predictions, because there are no future records. These series determined (a) shifts in extreme precipitation frequencies and magnitudes, and (b) shifts in parameters during modeling periods. The REA method demonstrated that the winter season had lower REA factors than the annual season. For the winter season the RCM pairing of the Hadley regional Model 3 and the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model had the lowest REA factors. However, in replicating present-day climate, the pairing of the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics' Regional Climate Model Version 3 with the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model was superior. Shifts of extreme precipitation in the 24-hour event were measured using precipitation magnitude for each frequency in the annual maximum series, and the difference frequency curve in the generalized extreme-value-function parameters. The average trend of all RCM pairings implied no significant shift in the winter annual maximum series, however the REA-selected models showed an increase in annual-season precipitation extremes: 0.37 inches for the 100-year return period and for the winter season suggested approximately 0.57 inches for the same return period. Shifts of extreme precipitation were estimated using predictions 70 years into the future based on RCMs. Although these models do not provide climate information for the intervening 70 year period, the models provide an assertion on the behavior of future climate. The shift in extreme precipitation may be significant in the frequency distribution function, and will vary depending on each model-pairing condition. The proposed methodology addresses the many uncertainties associated with the current methodologies dealing with extreme precipitation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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An in situ MBfR system to treat nitrate-contaminated surface water

Description

Nitrate, a widespread contaminant in surface water, can cause eutrophication and toxicity to aquatic organisms. To augment the nitrate-removal capacity of constructed wetlands, I applied the H2-based Membrane Biofilm

Nitrate, a widespread contaminant in surface water, can cause eutrophication and toxicity to aquatic organisms. To augment the nitrate-removal capacity of constructed wetlands, I applied the H2-based Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR) in a novel configuration called the in situ MBfR (isMBfR). The goal of my thesis is to evaluate and model the nitrate removal performance for a bench-scale isMBfR system.

I operated the bench-scale isMBfR system in 7 different conditions to evaluate its nitrate-removal performance. When I supplied H2 with the isMBfR (stages 1 - 6), I observed at least 70% nitrate removal, and almost all of the denitrification occurred in the "MBfR zone." When I stopped the H2 supply in stage 7, the nitrate-removal percentage immediately dropped from 92% (stage 6) to 11% (stage 7). Denitrification raised the pH of the bulk liquid to ~ 9.0 for the first 6 stages, but the high pH did not impair the performance of the denitrifiers. Microbial community analyses indicated that DB were the dominant bacteria in the "MBfR zone," while photosynthetic Cyanobacteria were dominant in the "photo-zone".

I derived stoichiometric relationships among COD, alkalinity, H2, Dissolved Oxygen (DO), and nitrate to model the nitrate removal capacity of the "MBfR zone." The stoichiometric relationships corresponded well to the nitrate-removal capacity for all stages expect stage 3, which was limited by the abundance of Denitrifying Bacteria (DB) so that the H2 supply capacity could not be completely used.

Finally, I analyzed two case studies for the real-world application of the isMBfR to constructed wetlands. Based on the characteristics for the wetlands and the stoichiometric relationships, I designed a feasible operation condition (membrane area and H2 pressure) for each wetland. In both cases, the amount of isMBfR surface area was modest, from 0.022 to 1.2 m2/m3 of wetland volume.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014