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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 

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Wed, May 22, 2024


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  Can Hydrologic Complexity Simplify Watershed Modeling?  
(Seminar/Conference)

Dr. Zachary Easton received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Hydrology from Cornell University in 2004 and 2007, respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Research Associate in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering Soil and Water Lab, Cornell University, from 2007-2011. In 2011, he joined Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, based at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center. His focus includes contaminant transport, hydrological controls on biogeochemical processes, and impacts of climate and landuse change on water quality.

Presentation Abstract: Many watershed models (e.g., SWAT, GWLF, HSPF, AGNPS) link runoff and pollutant concentrations almost solely to land use. As a result, we have sometimes dogmatically developed nonpoint source pollution control practices based too heavily on specific land uses and largely ignored the interaction between land management and physical, landscape scale processes. We contend that incorporating hydrologic complexity into these watershed models can reduce calibration needs, increase model parsimony, and better represent landscape features. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrate incorporating hydrologic complexity by considering four linkages between field/hillslope complexity and watershed simplicity that are scale invariant or scalable: i) storage vs. discharge relationships, ii) storage vs. saturated area relationships, iii) vadose zone physics, and iv) terrain attributes. With this framework, we are able to better represent landscape and field level processes such as the surface energy budget, gully initiation and erosion, variable source area hydrology, and critical zone physics, which may help to inform spatially targeted water resource management decisions.

More information...


Location: 108 Seitz Hall
Price: free
Sponsor: Biological Systems Engineering Department
Contact: Barbara Wills
E-Mail: barbt@vt.edu
(540) 231-6615
   
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