A. Pietroniro


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Modelling of ice jam floods under past and future climates: A review
Prabin Rokaya, Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt, A. Pietroniro, Martyn P. Clark
Journal of Hydrology X, Volume 15

• The probable impacts of future climate on ice-jam floods are discussed. • Practical suggestions for modelling ice-jam floods under both past and future climates are provided. • Research opportunities that could lead to further improvements in ice-jam flood modelling and prediction are presented. Ice-jam floods (IJFs) are a key concern in cold-region environments, where seasonal effects of river ice formation and break-up can have substantial impacts on flooding processes. Different statistical, machine learning, and process-based models have been developed to simulate IJF events in order to improve our understanding of river ice processes, to quantify potential flood magnitudes and backwater levels, and to undertake risk analysis under a changing climate. Assessment of IJF risks under future climate is limited due to constraints related to model input data. However, given the broad economic and environmental significance of IJFs and their sensitivity to a changing climate, robust modelling frameworks that can incorporate future climatic changes, and produce reliable scenarios of future IJF risks are needed. In this review paper, we discuss the probable impacts of future climate on IJFs and provide suggestions on modelling IJFs under both past and future climates. We also make recommendations around existing approaches and highlight some data and research opportunities, that could lead to further improvements in IJF modelling and prediction.


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Hydrologic-Land Surface Modelling of a Complex System under Precipitation Uncertainty: A Case Study of the Saskatchewan River Basin, Canada
Fuad Yassin, Seyedeh Laleh Razavi, Jefferson S. Wong, A. Pietroniro, H. S. Wheater

Hydrologic-Land Surface Models (H-LSMs) have been progressively developed to a stage where they represent the dominant hydrological processes for a variety of hydrological regimes and include a range of water management practices, and are increasingly used to simulate water storages and fluxes of large basins under changing environmental conditions across the globe. However, efforts for comprehensive evaluation of the utility of H-LSMs in large, regulated watersheds have been limited. In this study, we evaluated the capability of a Canadian H-LSM, called MESH, in the highly regulated Saskatchewan River Basin (SaskRB), Canada, under the constraint of significant precipitation uncertainty. A comprehensive analysis of the MESH model performance was carried out in two steps. First, the reliability of multiple precipitation products was evaluated against climate station observations and based on their performance in simulating streamflow across the basin when forcing the MESH model with a default parameterization. Second, a state-of-the-art multi-criteria calibration approach was applied, using various observational information including streamflow, storage and fluxes for calibration and validation. The first analysis shows that the quality of precipitation products had a direct and immediate impact on simulation performance for the basin headwaters but effects were dampened when going downstream. The subsequent analyses show that the MESH model was able to capture observed responses of multiple fluxes and storage across the basin using a global multi-station calibration method. Despite poorer performance in some basins, the global parameterization generally achieved better model performance than a default model parameterization. Validation using storage anomaly and evapotranspiration generally showed strong correlation with observations, but revealed potential deficiencies in the simulation of storage anomaly over open water areas. Keywords: Precipitation Uncertainty, Hydrologic-Land Surface Models, multi-criteria calibration, storage and fluxes validation, Saskatchewan River Basin, Canada

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On the configuration and initialization of a large-scale hydrological land surface model to represent permafrost
Mohamed Elshamy, Daniel Princz, Gonzalo Sapriza-Azuri, Mohamed S. Abdelhamed, A. Pietroniro, H. S. Wheater, Saman Razavi
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Volume 24, Issue 1

Abstract. Permafrost is an important feature of cold-region hydrology, particularly in river basins such as the Mackenzie River basin (MRB), and it needs to be properly represented in hydrological and land surface models (H-LSMs) built into existing Earth system models (ESMs), especially under the unprecedented climate warming trends that have been observed. Higher rates of warming have been reported in high latitudes compared to the global average, resulting in permafrost thaw with wide-ranging implications for hydrology and feedbacks to climate. The current generation of H-LSMs is being improved to simulate permafrost dynamics by allowing deep soil profiles and incorporating organic soils explicitly. Deeper soil profiles have larger hydraulic and thermal memories that require more effort to initialize. This study aims to devise a robust, yet computationally efficient, initialization and parameterization approach applicable to regions where data are scarce and simulations typically require large computational resources. The study further demonstrates an upscaling approach to inform large-scale ESM simulations based on the insights gained by modelling at small scales. We used permafrost observations from three sites along the Mackenzie River valley spanning different permafrost classes to test the validity of the approach. Results show generally good performance in reproducing present-climate permafrost properties at the three sites. The results also emphasize the sensitivity of the simulations to the soil layering scheme used, the depth to bedrock, and the organic soil properties.

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Advancing Field-Based GNSS Surveying for Validation of Remotely Sensed Water Surface Elevation Products
L. H. Pitcher, L. C. Smith, Sarah W. Cooley, Annie Zaino, R. L. Carlson, Joseph L. Pettit, C. J. Gleason, J. T. Minear, Jessica V. Fayne, M. J. Willis, J. S. Hansen, Kelly Easterday, Merritt E. Harlan, Theodore Langhorst, Simon Topp, Wayana Dolan, Ethan D. Kyzivat, A. Pietroniro, Philip Marsh, Daqing Yang, Thomas Carter, C. Onclin, Nasim Hosseini, Evan J. Wilcox, Daniel Medéiros Moreira, Muriel Bergé-Nguyen, Jean‐François Crétaux, Tamlin M. Pavelsky
Frontiers in Earth Science, Volume 8

To advance monitoring of surface water resources, new remote sensing technologies including the forthcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite (expected launch 2022) and its experimental airborne prototype AirSWOT are being developed to repeatedly map water surface elevation (WSE) and slope (WSS) of the world’s rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. However, the vertical accuracies of these novel technologies are largely unverified; thus, standard and repeatable field procedures to validate remotely sensed WSE and WSS are needed. To that end, we designed, engineered, and operationalized a Water Surface Profiler (WaSP) system that efficiently and accurately surveys WSE and WSS in a variety of surface water environments using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) time-averaged measurements with Precise Point Positioning corrections. Here, we present WaSP construction, deployment, and a data processing workflow. We demonstrate WaSP data collections from repeat field deployments in the North Saskatchewan River and three prairie pothole lakes near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. We find that WaSP reproducibly measures WSE and WSS with vertical accuracies similar to standard field survey methods [WSE root mean squared difference (RMSD) ∼8 cm, WSS RMSD ∼1.3 cm/km] and that repeat WaSP deployments accurately quantify water level changes (RMSD ∼3 cm). Collectively, these results suggest that WaSP is an easily deployed, self-contained system with sufficient accuracy for validating the decimeter-level expected accuracies of SWOT and AirSWOT. We conclude by discussing the utility of WaSP for validating airborne and spaceborne WSE mappings, present 63 WaSP in situ lake WSE measurements collected in support of NASA’s Arctic-Boreal and Vulnerability Experiment, highlight routine deployment in support of the Lake Observation by Citizen Scientists and Satellites project, and explore WaSP utility for validating a novel GNSS interferometric reflectometry LArge Wave Warning System.