Evaluation, Calibration and Comparison of the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) National Hydrologic Model (NHM) Using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) Gridded Datasets

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Parker A Norton II, USGS South Dakota Water Science Center, Rapid City, SD, United States and Adel E Haj Jr., USGS Iowa Water Science Center, Iowa City, IA, United States
The United States Geological Survey is currently developing a National Hydrologic Model (NHM) to support and facilitate coordinated and consistent hydrologic modeling efforts at the scale of the continental United States. As part of this effort, the Geospatial Fabric (GF) for the NHM was created. The GF is a database that contains parameters derived from datasets that characterize the physical features of watersheds. The GF was used to aggregate catchments and flowlines defined in the National Hydrography Dataset Plus dataset for more than 100,000 hydrologic response units (HRUs), and to establish initial parameter values for input to the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). Many parameter values are adjusted in PRMS using an automated calibration process. Using these adjusted parameter values, the PRMS model estimated variables such as evapotranspiration (ET), potential evapotranspiration (PET), snow-covered area (SCA), and snow water equivalent (SWE). In order to evaluate the effectiveness of parameter calibration, and model performance in general, several satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) gridded datasets including ET, PET, SCA, and SWE were compared to PRMS-simulated values. The MODIS and SNODAS data were spatially averaged for each HRU, and compared to PRMS-simulated ET, PET, SCA, and SWE values for each HRU in the Upper Missouri River watershed. Default initial GF parameter values and PRMS calibration ranges were evaluated. Evaluation results, and the use of MODIS and SNODAS datasets to update GF parameter values and PRMS calibration ranges, are presented and discussed.