Simulating the Hydrologic Cycle in Large Basins With Limited In-situ Measurements Using the Hillslope River Routing Model

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium

Featuring Ram Ray, Ph.D.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

San Diego State University

Free and open to the public


This seminar presents an application of Hillslope River Routing (HRR) model in Susquehanna River Basin and Congo River basin. The HRR model is implemented on the Pfafstetter basins. First, HRR model coupled with Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC-3L) model applied at Susquehanna River Basin for streamflow simulation using in situ measurements. Results show promising agreement between daily simulated and observed streamflow. Later, three satellite derived precipitation datasets (TRMM, CMORPH, and PERSIANN) are used to drive HRR model in the Congo Basin. Due to limited in-situ measurements, simulated streamflow is assessed using historical monthly discharge data from in-situ stream gauges and recent stage data based on water surface elevations derived from ENVISAT laser altimetry data. Simulated total water storage is also assessed using monthly storage values derived from GRACE data. The results show that the three precipitation datasets vary significantly in terms of magnitudes but generally produce a reasonable hydrograph throughout much of the basin, with the exception of the equatorial regions of the watershed. Overall, TRMM (3B42) provides the best spatial and temporal distributions and magnitudes or rainfall based on the assessment measures used here.  Both CMORPH and PERSIANN tend to significantly overestimate magnitudes, especially in the equatorial regions of the Basin. Finally, landslides analysis using remotely sensed data will be briefly discussed.