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Water Resources Research

Noah P Molotch, David M Barnard, Sean P Burns, Thomas H Painter
The distribution of forest cover exerts strong controls on the spatiotemporal distribution of snow accumulation and snowmelt. The physical processes that govern these controls are poorly understood given a lack of detailed measurements of snow states. In this study, we address one of many measurement gaps by using contact spectroscopy to measure snow optical grain size at high spatial resolution in trenches dug between tree boles in a subalpine forest. Trenches were collocated with continuous measurements of snow depth and vertical profiles of snow temperature and supplemented with manual measurements of snow temperature, geometric grain size, grain type, and density from trench walls...
September 2016: Water Resources Research
José Luis Salinas, Andrea Kiss, Alberto Viglione, Reinhard Viertl, Günter Blöschl
This paper presents a novel framework that links imprecision (through a fuzzy approach) and stochastic uncertainty (through a Bayesian approach) in estimating flood probabilities from historical flood information and systematic flood discharge data. The method exploits the linguistic characteristics of historical source material to construct membership functions, which may be wider or narrower, depending on the vagueness of the statements. The membership functions are either included in the prior distribution or the likelihood function to obtain a fuzzy version of the flood frequency curve...
September 2016: Water Resources Research
Linda Kuil, Gemma Carr, Alberto Viglione, Alexia Prskawetz, Günter Blöschl
With population growth, increasing water demands and climate change the need to understand the current and future pathways to water security is becoming more pressing. To contribute to addressing this challenge, we examine the link between water stress and society through socio-hydrological modeling. We conceptualize the interactions between an agricultural society with its environment in a stylized way. We apply the model to the case of the ancient Maya, a population that experienced a peak during the Classic Period (AD 600-830) and then declined during the ninth century...
August 2016: Water Resources Research
R D Williams, R Measures, D M Hicks, J Brasington
Numerical morphological modeling of braided rivers, using a physics-based approach, is increasingly used as a technique to explore controls on river pattern and, from an applied perspective, to simulate the impact of channel modifications. This paper assesses a depth-averaged nonuniform sediment model (Delft3D) to predict the morphodynamics of a 2.5 km long reach of the braided Rees River, New Zealand, during a single high-flow event. Evaluation of model performance primarily focused upon using high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of Difference, derived from a fusion of terrestrial laser scanning and optical empirical bathymetric mapping, to compare observed and predicted patterns of erosion and deposition and reach-scale sediment budgets...
August 2016: Water Resources Research
Alberto Viglione, Bruno Merz, Nguyen Viet Dung, Juraj Parajka, Thomas Nester, Günter Blöschl
Changes in the river flood regime may be due to atmospheric processes (e.g., increasing precipitation), catchment processes (e.g., soil compaction associated with land use change), and river system processes (e.g., loss of retention volume in the floodplains). This paper proposes a new framework for attributing flood changes to these drivers based on a regional analysis. We exploit the scaling characteristics (i.e., fingerprints) with catchment area of the effects of the drivers on flood changes. The estimation of their relative contributions is framed in Bayesian terms...
July 2016: Water Resources Research
I D Chandler, I Guymer, J M Pearson, R van Egmond
River ecosystems are influenced by contaminants in the water column, in the pore water and adsorbed to sediment particles. When exchange across the sediment-water interface (hyporheic exchange) is included in modeling, the mixing coefficient is often assumed to be constant with depth below the interface. Novel fiber-optic fluorometers have been developed and combined with a modified EROSIMESS system to quantify the vertical variation in mixing coefficient with depth below the sediment-water interface. The study considered a range of particle diameters and bed shear velocities, with the permeability Péclet number, PeK between 1000 and 77,000 and the shear Reynolds number, Re*, between 5 and 600...
May 2016: Water Resources Research
Yijun Yao, Iason Verginelli, Eric M Suuberg
In this study we present an analytical solution of a two-dimensional petroleum vapor intrusion model, which incorporates a steady-state diffusion-dominated vapor transport in a homogeneous soil and piecewise first-order aerobic biodegradation limited by oxygen availability. This new model can help practitioners to easily generate two-dimensional soil gas concentration profiles for both hydrocarbons and oxygen and estimate hydrocarbon indoor air concentrations as a function of site-specific conditions such as source strength and depth, reaction rate constant, soil characteristics and building features...
February 2016: Water Resources Research
Jason S Lessels, Doerthe Tetzlaff, Christian Birkel, Jonathan Dick, Chris Soulsby
Mixing of waters within riparian zones has been identified as an important influence on runoff generation and water quality. Improved understanding of the controls on the spatial and temporal variability of water sources and how they mix in riparian zones is therefore of both fundamental and applied interest. In this study, we have combined topographic indices derived from a high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with repeated spatially high-resolution synoptic sampling of multiple tracers to investigate such dynamics of source water mixing...
January 2016: Water Resources Research
Edoardo Borgomeo, Georg Pflug, Jim W Hall, Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler
Global climate models suggest an increase in evapotranspiration, changing storm tracks, and moisture delivery in many parts of the world, which are likely to cause more prolonged and severe drought, yet the weakness of climate models in modeling persistence of hydroclimatic variables and the uncertainties associated with regional climate projections mean that impact assessments based on climate model output may underestimate the risk of multiyear droughts. In this paper, we propose a vulnerability-based approach to test water resource system response to drought...
November 2015: Water Resources Research
Michael B Fisher, Katherine F Shields, Terence U Chan, Elizabeth Christenson, Ryan D Cronk, Hannah Leker, Destina Samani, Patrick Apoya, Alexandra Lutz, Jamie Bartram
Safe drinking water is critical to human health and development. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, most improved water sources are boreholes with handpumps; studies suggest that up to one third of these handpumps are nonfunctional at any given time. This work presents findings from a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from 1509 water sources in 570 communities in the rural Greater Afram Plains (GAP) region of Ghana; one of the largest studies of its kind. 79.4% of enumerated water sources were functional when visited; in multivariable regressions, functionality depended on source age, management, tariff collection, the number of other sources in the community, and the district...
October 2015: Water Resources Research
Christopher C Sampson, Andrew M Smith, Paul D Bates, Jeffrey C Neal, Lorenzo Alfieri, Jim E Freer
Floods are a natural hazard that affect communities worldwide, but to date the vast majority of flood hazard research and mapping has been undertaken by wealthy developed nations. As populations and economies have grown across the developing world, so too has demand from governments, businesses, and NGOs for modeled flood hazard data in these data-scarce regions. We identify six key challenges faced when developing a flood hazard model that can be applied globally and present a framework methodology that leverages recent cross-disciplinary advances to tackle each challenge...
September 2015: Water Resources Research
C Soulsby, C Birkel, J Geris, J Dick, C Tunaley, D Tetzlaff
To assess the influence of storage dynamics and nonlinearities in hydrological connectivity on time-variant stream water ages, we used a new long-term record of daily isotope measurements in precipitation and streamflow to calibrate and test a parsimonious tracer-aided runoff model. This can track tracers and the ages of water fluxes through and between conceptual stores in steeper hillslopes, dynamically saturated riparian peatlands, and deeper groundwater; these represent the main landscape units involved in runoff generation...
September 2015: Water Resources Research
Kenneth C Carroll, Kieran McDonald, Justin Marble, Ann E Russo, Mark L Brusseau
Multiphase-fluid distribution and flow is inherent in numerous areas of hydrology. Yet, pore-scale characterization of transitions between two and three immiscible-fluids is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of such transitions on the pore-scale configuration of organic liquid in a multi-fluid system comprising natural porous media. Three-dimensional images of an organic liquid (trichloroethene) in two-phase (organic-liquid/water) and three-phase (air/organic-liquid/water) systems were obtained using X-ray microtomography before and after drainage and imbibition...
September 2015: Water Resources Research
Tanya J Gallegos, Brian A Varela, Seth S Haines, Mark A Engle
A U.S. map of water volumes used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells, 2011-2014Hydraulic fracturing water volumes differ regionally across the U.S.Discussion of variation in water use and potential environmental implications.
July 2015: Water Resources Research
Aldrich Castillo, Fabio Castelli, Dara Entekhabi
Basin hydrologic response is a function of soil moisture distributional featuresAn information-based dimensionless index of hydrologic complexity is appliedThe complexity index characterizes soil moisture distributional features.
July 2015: Water Resources Research
G Coxon, J Freer, I K Westerberg, T Wagener, R Woods, P J Smith
A generalized framework for discharge uncertainty estimation is presentedAllows estimation of place-specific discharge uncertainties for many catchmentsLocal conditions dominate in determining discharge uncertainty magnitudes.
July 2015: Water Resources Research
Alexandra S Richey, Brian F Thomas, Min-Hui Lo, John T Reager, James S Famiglietti, Katalyn Voss, Sean Swenson, Matthew Rodell
Renewable groundwater stress is quantified in the world's largest aquifersCharacteristic stress regimes are defined to determine the severity of stressOverstressed aquifers are mainly in rangeland biomes with some croplands.
July 2015: Water Resources Research
Alexandra S Richey, Brian F Thomas, Min-Hui Lo, James S Famiglietti, Sean Swenson, Matthew Rodell
Groundwater resilience is defined and quantified with remote sensing from GRACETimescales of aquifer depletion are assessed as a Total Groundwater Stress ratioThe volume of usable global groundwater storage is found to be largely unknown.
July 2015: Water Resources Research
Christa Kelleher, Thorsten Wagener, Brian McGlynn
Ungauged headwater basins are an abundant part of the river network, but dominant influences on headwater hydrologic response remain difficult to predict. To address this gap, we investigated the ability of a physically based watershed model (the Distributed Hydrology-Soil-Vegetation Model) to represent controls on metrics of hydrologic partitioning across five adjacent headwater subcatchments. The five study subcatchments, located in Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest in central Montana, have similar climate but variable topography and vegetation distribution...
June 2015: Water Resources Research
Andrew Binley, Susan S Hubbard, Johan A Huisman, André Revil, David A Robinson, Kamini Singha, Lee D Slater
A review of the emergence and development of hydrogeophysicsOutline of emerging techniques in hydrogeophysicsPresentation of future opportunities in hydrogeophysics.
June 2015: Water Resources Research
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