16 Apr 2024
 | 16 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

A scalable and modular reservoir implementation for large scale integrated hydrologic simulations

Benjamin D. West, Reed M. Maxwell, and Laura E. Condon

Abstract. Recent advancements in integrated hydrologic modeling have enabled increasingly high-fidelity models of the complete terrestrial hydrologic cycle. These advances are critical for our ability to understand and predict watershed dynamics especially in a changing climate. However, many of the most physically rigorous models have been designed to focus on natural processes and do not incorporate the effect of human built structures such as dams. By not accounting for these impacts, our models are limited both in their accuracy and in the scope of questions they are able to investigate. Here we present the first implementation of dams and reservoirs in ParFlow-an integrated hydrologic model. Through a series of idealized and real world test cases we demonstrate that our implementation (1) functions as intended, (2) maintains important qualities such as mass conservation, (3) works in a real domain and (4) is computationally efficient and can be scaled to large domains with thousands of reservoirs. Our results will improve the accuracy of current ParFlow models and enable us to ask new questions regarding conjunctive management of ground and surface water in systems with reservoirs.

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Benjamin D. West, Reed M. Maxwell, and Laura E. Condon

Status: open (until 11 Jun 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-965', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Apr 2024 reply
Benjamin D. West, Reed M. Maxwell, and Laura E. Condon
Benjamin D. West, Reed M. Maxwell, and Laura E. Condon


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Short summary
This article describes the addition of reservoirs to the hydrologic model, ParFlow. ParFlow is particularly good at helping us understand some of the broader drivers behind different parts of the water cycle. By having reservoirs in such a model we hope to be better able to understand both our impacts on the environment, and how to adjust our management of reservoirs to changing conditions.