A novel method for cold-region streamflow hydrograph separation using GRACE satellite observations

Wang, Shusen; Li, Junhua; Russell, Hazen A. J.

Streamflow hydrograph analysis has long been used for separating streamflow into baseflow and surface runoff components, providing critical information for studies in hydrology, climate and water resources. Issues with established methods include the lack of physics and arbitrary choice of separation parameters, problems in identifying snowmelt runoff, and limitations on watershed size and hydrogeological conditions. In this study, a Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)-based model was developed to address these weaknesses and improve hydrograph separation. The model is physically based and requires no arbitrary choice of parameters. The new model was compared with six hydrograph separation methods provided with the U.S. Geological Survey Groundwater Toolbox. The results demonstrated improved estimates by the new model particularly in filtering out the bias of snowmelt runoff in baseflow estimate. This new model is specifically suitable for applications over large watersheds which is complementary to the traditional methods that are limited by watershed size. The output from the model also includes estimates for watershed hydraulic conductivity and drainable water storage, which are useful parameters in evaluating aquifer properties, calibrating and validating hydrological and climate models, and assessing regional water resources.



Wang, Shusen / Li, Junhua / Russell, Hazen A. J.: A novel method for cold-region streamflow hydrograph separation using GRACE satellite observations. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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