Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author or Editor: Kurt C. Solander x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Kurt C. Solander, John T. Reager, Brian F. Thomas, Cédric H. David, and James S. Famiglietti

Abstract

The widespread influence of reservoirs on global rivers makes representations of reservoir outflow and storage essential components of large-scale hydrology and climate simulations across the land surface and atmosphere. Yet, reservoirs have yet to be commonly integrated into earth system models. This deficiency influences model processes such as evaporation and runoff, which are critical for accurate simulations of the coupled climate system. This study describes the development of a generalized reservoir model capable of reproducing realistic reservoir behavior for future integration in a global land surface model (LSM). Equations of increasing complexity relating reservoir inflow, outflow, and storage were tested for 14 California reservoirs that span a range of spatial and climate regimes. Temperature was employed in model equations to modulate seasonal changes in reservoir management behavior and to allow for the evolution of management seasonality as future climate varies. Optimized parameter values for the best-performing model were generalized based on the ratio of winter inflow to storage capacity so a future LSM user can generate reservoirs in any grid location by specifying the given storage capacity. Model performance statistics show good agreement between observed and simulated reservoir storage and outflow for both calibration (mean normalized RMSE = 0.48; mean coefficient of determination = 0.53) and validation reservoirs (mean normalized RMSE = 0.15; mean coefficient of determination = 0.67). The low complexity of model equations that include climate-adaptive operation features combined with robust model performance show promise for simulations of reservoir impacts on hydrology and climate within an LSM.

Full access
Kurt C. Solander, Katrina E. Bennett, Sean W. Fleming, David S. Gutzler, Emily M. Hopkins, and Richard S. Middleton

Abstract

The Colorado River basin (CRB) is one of the most important watersheds for energy, water, and food security in the United States. CRB water supports 15% of U.S. food production, more than 50 GW of electricity capacity, and one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Energy–water–food nexus impacts from climate change are projected to increase in the CRB. These include a higher incidence of extreme events, widespread snow-to-rain regime shifts, and a higher frequency and magnitude of climate-driven disturbances. Here, we empirically show how the historical annual streamflow maximum and hydrograph centroid timing relate to temperature, precipitation, and snow. In addition, we show how these hydroclimatic relationships vary with elevation and how the elevation dependence has changed over this historical observational record. We find temperature and precipitation have a relatively weak relation (|r| < 0.3) to interannual variations in streamflow timing and extremes at low elevations (<1500 m), but a relatively strong relation (|r| > 0.5) at high elevations (>2300 m) where more snow occurs in the CRB. The threshold elevation where this relationship is strongest (|r| > 0.5) is moving uphill at a rate of up to 4.8 m yr−1 (p = 0.11) and 6.1 m yr−1 (p = 0.01) for temperature and precipitation, respectively. Based on these findings, we hypothesize where warming and precipitation-related streamflow changes are likely to be most severe using a watershed-scale vulnerability map to prioritize areas for further research and to inform energy, water, and food resource management in the CRB.

Full access