Bart Nijssen


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Hydrologic Model Sensitivity to Temporal Aggregation of Meteorological Forcing Data: A Case Study for the Contiguous United States
Ashley E. Van Beusekom, Lauren Hay, Andrew Bennett, Young-Don Choi, Martyn P. Clark, J. L. Goodall, Zhiyu Li, Iman Maghami, Bart Nijssen, Andrew W. Wood
Journal of Hydrometeorology, Volume 23, Issue 2

Abstract Surface meteorological analyses are an essential input (termed “forcing”) for hydrologic modeling. This study investigated the sensitivity of different hydrologic model configurations to temporal variations of seven forcing variables (precipitation rate, air temperature, longwave radiation, specific humidity, shortwave radiation, wind speed, and air pressure). Specifically, the effects of temporally aggregating hourly forcings to hourly daily average forcings were examined. The analysis was based on 14 hydrological outputs from the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives (SUMMA) model for the 671 Catchment Attributes and Meteorology for Large-Sample Studies (CAMELS) basins across the contiguous United States (CONUS). Results demonstrated that the hydrologic model sensitivity to temporally aggregating the forcing inputs varies across model output variables and model locations. We used Latin hypercube sampling to sample model parameters from eight combinations of three influential model physics choices (three model decisions with two options for each decision, i.e., eight model configurations). Results showed that the choice of model physics can change the relative influence of forcing on model outputs and the forcing importance may not be dependent on the parameter space. This allows for model output sensitivity to forcing aggregation to be tested prior to parameter calibration. More generally, this work provides a comprehensive analysis of the dependence of modeled outcomes on input forcing behavior, providing insight into the regional variability of forcing variable dominance on modeled outputs across CONUS.

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New projections of 21st century climate and hydrology for Alaska and Hawaiʻi
Naoki Mizukami, Andrew J. Newman, Jeremy S. Littell, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Andrew W. Wood, E. D. Gutmann, Joseph Hamman, Diana R. Gergel, Bart Nijssen, Martyn P. Clark, Jeffrey R. Arnold
Climate Services, Volume 27

In the United States, high-resolution, century-long, hydroclimate projection datasets have been developed for water resources planning, focusing on the contiguous United States (CONUS) domain. However, there are few statewide hydroclimate projection datasets available for Alaska and Hawaiʻi. The limited information on hydroclimatic change motivates developing hydrologic scenarios from 1950 to 2099 using climate-hydrology impact modeling chains consisting of multiple statistically downscaled climate projections as input to hydrologic model simulations for both states. We adopt an approach similar to the previous CONUS hydrologic assessments where: 1) we select the outputs from ten global climate models (GCM) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 with Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5; 2) we perform statistical downscaling to generate climate input data for hydrologic models (12-km grid-spacing for Alaska and 1-km for Hawaiʻi); and 3) we perform process-based hydrologic model simulations. For Alaska, we have advanced the hydrologic model configuration from CONUS by using the full water-energy balance computation, frozen soils and a simple glacier model. The simulations show that robust warming and increases in precipitation produce runoff increases for most of Alaska, with runoff reductions in the currently glacierized areas in Southeast Alaska. For Hawaiʻi, we produce the projections at high resolution (1 km) which highlight high spatial variability of climate variables across the state, and a large spread of runoff across the GCMs is driven by a large precipitation spread across the GCMs. Our new ensemble datasets assist with state-wide climate adaptation and other water planning.

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Community Workflows to Advance Reproducibility in Hydrologic Modeling: Separating Model‐Agnostic and Model‐Specific Configuration Steps in Applications of Large‐Domain Hydrologic Models
Wouter Knoben, Martyn P. Clark, Jerad D. Bales, Andrew Bennett, Shervan Gharari, Christopher B. Marsh, Bart Nijssen, Alain Pietroniro, Raymond J. Spiteri, Guoqiang Tang, David G. Tarboton, A. W. Wood
Water Resources Research, Volume 58, Issue 11

Despite the proliferation of computer-based research on hydrology and water resources, such research is typically poorly reproducible. Published studies have low reproducibility due to incomplete availability of data and computer code, and a lack of documentation of workflow processes. This leads to a lack of transparency and efficiency because existing code can neither be quality controlled nor reused. Given the commonalities between existing process-based hydrologic models in terms of their required input data and preprocessing steps, open sharing of code can lead to large efficiency gains for the modeling community. Here, we present a model configuration workflow that provides full reproducibility of the resulting model instantiations in a way that separates the model-agnostic preprocessing of specific data sets from the model-specific requirements that models impose on their input files. We use this workflow to create large-domain (global and continental) and local configurations of the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives (SUMMA) hydrologic model connected to the mizuRoute routing model. These examples show how a relatively complex model setup over a large domain can be organized in a reproducible and structured way that has the potential to accelerate advances in hydrologic modeling for the community as a whole. We provide a tentative blueprint of how community modeling initiatives can be built on top of workflows such as this. We term our workflow the “Community Workflows to Advance Reproducibility in Hydrologic Modeling” (CWARHM; pronounced “swarm”).


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The numerical implementation of land models: Problem formulation and laugh tests
Martyn P. Clark, Reza Zolfaghari, Kevin R. Green, S. J. Trim, Wouter Knoben, Andrew Bennett, Bart Nijssen, A. M. Ireson, Raymond J. Spiteri
Journal of Hydrometeorology

Abstract The intent of this paper is to encourage improved numerical implementation of land models. Our contributions in this paper are two-fold. First, we present a unified framework to formulate and implement land model equations. We separate the representation of physical processes from their numerical solution, enabling the use of established robust numerical methods to solve the model equations. Second, we introduce a set of synthetic test cases (the laugh tests) to evaluate the numerical implementation of land models. The test cases include storage and transmission of water in soils, lateral sub-surface flow, coupled hydrological and thermodynamic processes in snow, and cryosuction processes in soil. We consider synthetic test cases as “laugh tests” for land models because they provide the most rudimentary test of model capabilities. The laugh tests presented in this paper are all solved with the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives model (SUMMA) implemented using the SUite of Nonlinear and DIfferential/Algebraic equation Solvers (SUNDIALS). The numerical simulations from SUMMA/SUNDIALS are compared against (1) solutions to the synthetic test cases from other models documented in the peer-reviewed literature; (2) analytical solutions; and (3) observations made in laboratory experiments. In all cases, the numerical simulations are similar to the benchmarks, building confidence in the numerical model implementation. We posit that some land models may have difficulty in solving these benchmark problems. Dedicating more effort to solving synthetic test cases is critical in order to build confidence in the numerical implementation of land models.

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Changing River Network Synchrony Modulates Projected Increases in High Flows
David E. Rupp, O. Chegwidden, Bart Nijssen, Martyn P. Clark
Water Resources Research, Volume 57, Issue 4

Projections of change in high-flow extremes with global warming vary widely among, and within, large midlatitude river basins. The spatial variability of these changes is attributable to multiple causes. One possible and little-studied cause of changes in high-flow extremes is a change in the synchrony of mainstem and tributary streamflow during high-flow extremes at the mainstem-tributary confluence. We examined reconstructed and simulated naturalized daily streamflow at confluences on the Columbia River in western North America, quantifying changes in synchrony in future streamflow projections and estimating the impact of these changes on high-flow extremes. In the Columbia River basin, projected flow regimes across colder tributaries initially diverge with warming as they respond to climate change at different rates, leading to a general decrease in synchrony, and lower high-flow extremes, relative to a scenario with no changes in synchrony. Where future warming is sufficiently large to cause most subbasins upstream from a confluence to transition toward a rain-dominated, warm regime, the decreasing trend in synchrony reverses itself. At one confluence with a major tributary (the Willamette River), where the mainstem and tributary flow regimes are initially very different, warming increases synchrony and, therefore, high-flow magnitudes. These results may be generalizable to the class of large rivers with large contributions to flood risk from the snow (i.e., cold) regime, but that also receive considerable discharge from tributaries that drain warmer basins.

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Toward open and reproducible environmental modeling by integrating online data repositories, computational environments, and model Application Programming Interfaces
Young-Don Choi, Jonathan L. Goodall, Jeffrey M. Sadler, Anthony M. Castronova, Andrew Bennett, Zhiyu Li, Bart Nijssen, Shaowen Wang, Martyn P. Clark, Daniel P. Ames, Jeffery S. Horsburgh, Yi Hong, C. Bandaragoda, M. Seul, Richard Hooper, David G. Tarboton
Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 135

Cyberinfrastructure needs to be advanced to enable open and reproducible environmental modeling research. Recent efforts toward this goal have focused on advancing online repositories for data and model sharing, online computational environments along with containerization technology and notebooks for capturing reproducible computational studies, and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for simulation models to foster intuitive programmatic control. The objective of this research is to show how these efforts can be integrated to support reproducible environmental modeling. We present first the high-level concept and general approach for integrating these three components. We then present one possible implementation that integrates HydroShare (an online repository), CUAHSI JupyterHub and CyberGIS-Jupyter for Water (computational environments), and pySUMMA (a model API) to support open and reproducible hydrologic modeling. We apply the example implementation for a hydrologic modeling use case to demonstrate how the approach can advance reproducible environmental modeling through the seamless integration of cyberinfrastructure services. • New approaches are needed to support open and reproducible environmental modeling. • Efforts should focus on integrating existing cyberinfrastructure to build new systems. • Our focus is on integrating repositories, computational environments, and model APIs. • An example implementation is shown using HydroShare, JupyterHub, and pySUMMA. • We demonstrate how the approach fosters reproducibility using a modeling case study.

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How Well Can Land-Surface Models Represent the Diurnal Cycle of Turbulent Heat Fluxes?
Maik Renner, Axel Kleidon, Martyn P. Clark, Bart Nijssen, Marvin Heidkamp, Martin Best, Gab Abramowitz
Journal of Hydrometeorology, Volume 22, Issue 1

Abstract The diurnal cycle of solar radiation represents the strongest energetic forcing and dominates the exchange of heat and mass of the land surface with the atmosphere. This diurnal heat redistribution represents a core of land–atmosphere coupling that should be accurately represented in land surface models (LSMs), which are critical parts of weather and climate models. We employ a diagnostic model evaluation approach using a signature-based metric that describes the diurnal variation of heat fluxes. The metric is obtained by decomposing the diurnal variation of surface heat fluxes into their direct response and the phase lag to incoming solar radiation. We employ the output of 13 different LSMs driven with meteorological forcing of 20 FLUXNET sites (PLUMBER dataset). All LSMs show a poor representation of the evaporative fraction and thus the diurnal magnitude of the sensible and latent heat flux under cloud-free conditions. In addition, we find that the diurnal phase of both heat fluxes is poorly represented. The best performing model only reproduces 33% of the evaluated evaporative conditions across the sites. The poor performance of the diurnal cycle of turbulent heat exchange appears to be linked to how models solve for the surface energy balance and redistribute heat into the subsurface. We conclude that a systematic evaluation of diurnal signatures is likely to help to improve the simulated diurnal cycle, better represent land–atmosphere interactions, and therefore improve simulations of the near-surface climate.


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Quantifying Process Connectivity With Transfer Entropy in Hydrologic Models
Andrew Bennett, Bart Nijssen, Gengxin Ou, Martyn P. Clark, Grey Nearing
Water Resources Research, Volume 55, Issue 6

Quantifying the behavior and performance of hydrologic models is an important aspect of understanding the underlying hydrologic systems. We argue that classical error measures do not offer a complete picture for building this understanding. This study demonstrates how the information theoretic measure known as transfer entropy can be used to quantify the active transfer of information between hydrologic processes at various timescales and facilitate further understanding of the behavior of these systems. To build a better understanding of the differences in dynamics, we compare model instances of the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives (SUMMA), the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model, and the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) across a variety of hydrologic regimes in the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Our results show differences in the runoff of the SUMMA instance compared to the other two models in several of our study locations. In the Snake River region, SUMMA runoff was primarily snowmelt driven, while VIC and PRMS runoff was primarily influenced by precipitation and evapotranspiration. In the Olympic mountains, evapotranspiration interacted with the other water balance variables much differently in PRMS than in VIC and SUMMA. In the Willamette River, all three models had similar process networks at the daily time scale but showed differences in information transfer at the monthly timescale. Additionally, we find that all three models have similar connectivity between evapotranspiration and soil moisture. Analyzing information transfers to runoff at daily and monthly time steps shows how processes can operate on different timescales. By comparing information transfer with correlations, we show how transfer entropy provides a complementary picture of model behavior.

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How Do Modeling Decisions Affect the Spread Among Hydrologic Climate Change Projections? Exploring a Large Ensemble of Simulations Across a Diversity of Hydroclimates
O. Chegwidden, Bart Nijssen, David E. Rupp, Jeffrey R. Arnold, Martyn P. Clark, Joseph Hamman, Shih‐Chieh Kao, Yixin Mao, Naoki Mizukami, Philip W. Mote, Ming Pan, Erik Pytlak, Mu Xiao
Earth's Future, Volume 7, Issue 6

Methodological choices can have strong effects on projections of climate change impacts on hydrology. In this study, we investigate the ways in which four different steps in the modeling chain influence the spread in projected changes of different aspects of hydrology. To form the basis of these analyses, we constructed an ensemble of 160 simulations from permutations of two Representative Concentration Pathways, 10 global climate models, two downscaling methods, and four hydrologic model implementations. The study is situated in the Pacific Northwest of North America, which has relevance to a diverse, multinational cast of stakeholders. We analyze the effects of each modeling decision on changes in gridded hydrologic variables of snow water equivalent and runoff, as well as streamflow at point locations. Results show that the choice of representative concentration pathway or global climate model is the driving contributor to the spread in annual streamflow volume and timing. On the other hand, hydrologic model implementation explains most of the spread in changes in low flows. Finally, by grouping the results by climate region the results have the potential to be generalized beyond the Pacific Northwest. Future hydrologic impact assessments can use these results to better tailor their modeling efforts.

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Hillslope Hydrology in Global Change Research and Earth System Modeling
Ying Fan, Martyn P. Clark, David M. Lawrence, Sean Swenson, Lawrence E. Band, Susan L. Brantley, P. D. Brooks, W. E. Dietrich, Alejandro N. Flores, Gordon E. Grant, James W. Kirchner, D. S. Mackay, Jeffrey J. McDonnell, P. C. D. Milly, Pamela L. Sullivan, Christina Tague, Hoori Ajami, Nathaniel W. Chaney, Andreas Hartmann, P. Hazenberg, J. P. McNamara, Jon D. Pelletier, J. Perket, Elham Rouholahnejad Freund, Thorsten Wagener, Xubin Zeng, R. Edward Beighley, J. R. Buzan, Maoyi Huang, Ben Livneh, Binayak P. Mohanty, Bart Nijssen, Mohammad Safeeq, Chaopeng Shen, Willem van Verseveld, John Volk, Dai Yamazaki
Water Resources Research, Volume 55, Issue 2

Earth System Models (ESMs) are essential tools for understanding and predicting global change, but they cannot explicitly resolve hillslope‐scale terrain structures that fundamentally organize water, energy, and biogeochemical stores and fluxes at subgrid scales. Here we bring together hydrologists, Critical Zone scientists, and ESM developers, to explore how hillslope structures may modulate ESM grid‐level water, energy, and biogeochemical fluxes. In contrast to the one‐dimensional (1‐D), 2‐ to 3‐m deep, and free‐draining soil hydrology in most ESM land models, we hypothesize that 3‐D, lateral ridge‐to‐valley flow through shallow and deep paths and insolation contrasts between sunny and shady slopes are the top two globally quantifiable organizers of water and energy (and vegetation) within an ESM grid cell. We hypothesize that these two processes are likely to impact ESM predictions where (and when) water and/or energy are limiting. We further hypothesize that, if implemented in ESM land models, these processes will increase simulated continental water storage and residence time, buffering terrestrial ecosystems against seasonal and interannual droughts. We explore efficient ways to capture these mechanisms in ESMs and identify critical knowledge gaps preventing us from scaling up hillslope to global processes. One such gap is our extremely limited knowledge of the subsurface, where water is stored (supporting vegetation) and released to stream baseflow (supporting aquatic ecosystems). We conclude with a set of organizing hypotheses and a call for global syntheses activities and model experiments to assess the impact of hillslope hydrology on global change predictions.


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DOs and DON'Ts for using climate change information for water resource planning and management: guidelines for study design
J. A. Vano, Jeffrey R. Arnold, Bart Nijssen, Martyn P. Clark, Andrew W. Wood, E. D. Gutmann, Nans Addor, Flavio Lehner
Climate Services, Volume 12

Abstract Water managers are actively incorporating climate change information into their long- and short-term planning processes. This is generally seen as a step in the right direction because it supplements traditional methods, providing new insights that can help in planning for a non-stationary climate. However, the continuous evolution of climate change information can make it challenging to use available information appropriately. Advice on how to use the information is not always straightforward and typically requires extended dialogue between information producers and users, which is not always feasible. To help navigate better the ever-changing climate science landscape, this review is organized as a set of nine guidelines for water managers and planners that highlight better practices for incorporating climate change information into water resource planning and management. Each DOs and DON'Ts recommendation is given with context on why certain strategies are preferable and addresses frequently asked questions by exploring past studies and documents that provide guidance, including real-world examples mainly, though not exclusively, from the United States. This paper is intended to provide a foundation that can expand through continued dialogue within and between the climate science and application communities worldwide, a two-way information sharing that can increase the actionable nature of the information produced and promote greater utility and appropriate use.