Characterizing regulated reservoirs dynamics in regional to global scale hydrologic models

Friday, 18 December 2015: 11:05
3011 (Moscone West)
Edward Beighley1, Yeosang Yoon2, Hyongki Lee3, Tamlin Pavelsky4 and George H Allen4, (1)Northeastern University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Boston, MA, United States, (2)University of California Merced, Merced, CA, United States, (3)University of Houston, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Houston, TX, United States, (4)University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States
Lakes and reservoirs are widely used for water supply and flood control resulting in regulated release of outflows that are nonconcurrent with inflows. In hydrologic modeling applications, accounting for the regulated behavior of reservoirs distributed throughout a river system poses a significant challenge because detailed reservoir operation rules or strategies can be difficult or not possible to obtain. Building on this problem, this study addresses the science questions: Can we model reservoir water storage changes and outlet discharges based on satellite measurements of river water surface elevation and inundated area, and How does repeat cycle, mission duration and measurement uncertainty impact our ability to characterize reservoir behavior? A modeling framework suitable for regional to global applications and based on the forthcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission is presented. Although our framework can be combined with data assimilation techniques for real-time flood forecasting, our goal is to represent reservoir storage patterns in large-scale hydrologic models for simulating: (i) impacts of future climate and/or land cover conditions on water resources, and (ii) synthetic storm events (e.g., 100-yr flood) or event catalogs for flood hazard and risk assessments. In-situ and remotely sensed reservoir dynamics are presented for select locations in the Mississippi River Basin and used in the Hillslope River Routing (HRR) hydrologic model to simulate downstream flow dynamics.