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Coupling of a simultaneous heat and water model with a distributed hydrological model and evaluation of the combined model in a cold region watershed


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Abstract

Snow and frozen soil prevail in cold regions worldwide, and the integration of these processes is crucial in hydrological models. In this study, a combined model was developed by fully coupling a simultaneous heat and water model with a geomorphologically based distributed hydrological model. The combined model simulates vertical and lateral water transfer as well as vertical heat fluxes and is capable of representing the effects of frozen soil and snowmelt on hydrological processes in cold regions. This model was evaluated by using in situ observations in the Binggou watershed, an experimental watershed for cold region hydrology of the Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research Project. Results showed that the model was able to predict soil freezing and thawing, unfrozen soil water content, and snow depth reasonably well. The simulated hydrograph was in good agreement with the in situ observation. The Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient of daily discharge was 0.744 for the entire simulation period, 0.472 from April to June, and 0.711 from June to November. This model can improve our understanding of hydrological processes in cold regions and assess the impacts of global warming on hydrological cycles and water resources. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Keywords

  • Cold region
  • distributed hydrological model
  • frozen soil
  • Heihe River Basin
  • snowmelt

Citation

Zhang YL, Cheng GD, Li X, Han XJ, Wang L, Li HY, Chang XL, Flerchinger GN. Coupling of a simultaneous heat and water model with a distributed hydrological model and evaluation of the combined model in a cold region watershed. Hydrological Processes, 2013, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9514.

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