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Archive of Merced River Basin Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System, with forecasting, climate-file preparation, and data-visualization tools

September 1, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), has constructed a new spatially distributed Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) for the Merced River Basin (Koczot and others, 2021), which is a tributary of the San Joaquin River in California. PRMS is a deterministic, distributed-parameter, physical-process-based modeling system developed to evaluate the response of streamflow and basin hydrology to various combinations of climate and land use (Markstrom and others, 2015). Although further refinement may be required to apply the Merced PRMS for official streamflow forecast operations, this application of PRMS is calibrated with intention to simulate (and eventually, forecast) year-to-year variations of inflows to Lake McClure during the critical April–July snowmelt season, and may become part of a suite of methods used by DWR for forecasting streamflow in and from the basin. The Merced application of PRMS is a high-resolution model defined spatially by discreet, georeferenced mapping units (i.e., "hydrologic response units"; HRUs). Daily inputs of precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures are used to force the application. This application is designed to capture the effects of land use and climate change on streamflows and general hydrogeology from subareas of the model domain. As described in detail in Koczot and others (2021), simulations were calibrated against (1) solar radiation, (2) potential evapotranspiration, and (3) at 5 nodes representing locations of measured or reconstructed (at the outlet) streamflows. This application uses the PRMS 4.0.2 executable. Users should review the performance of this model to ensure applicability for their specific purpose. The PRMS application developed for this study can be operated through a customized Object User Interface (OUI; Markstrom and Koczot, 2008) coupled with a version of the Ensemble Streamflow Prediction (ESP; Day, 1985) forecasting tool, parameter-file editor, and data visualization tools. Furthermore, this includes daily-climate distribution preprocessing tools (Draper Climate-Distribution Software; Donovan and Koczot, 2019). Hereafter referred to as Merced OUI, this framework is the platform used to operate the Merced River Basin PRMS and perform streamflow simulations and forecasts.

Publication Year 2021
Title Archive of Merced River Basin Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System, with forecasting, climate-file preparation, and data-visualization tools
DOI 10.5066/F7JH3KFR
Authors JoAnn M. Gronberg, Kathryn M Koczot, John C Risley, John M Donovan, Kelly R McPherson, Jo Ann M. Harrer
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Sacramento Projects Office (USGS California Water Science Center)