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Challenges in continental-domain hydrologic modeling

Prof. Martyn Clark and Dr. Shervan Gharari
February 19, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Room 002, University House 1, UVic
2489 Sinclair Rd.
Victoria , BC
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The diversity in hydrologic models has historically led to great controversy on the correct approach to process-based hydrologic modeling, with debates centered on the adequacy of process parameterizations, data limitations and uncertainty, and computational constraints on model analysis. In this presentation, we revisit key modeling challenges on requirements to (1) define suitable model equations, (2) define adequate model parameters, (3) cope with limitations in computing power, and (4) model humans as an endogenous component of the terrestrial water cycle. We outline the historical modeling challenges, provide examples of modeling advances that address these challenges, and define outstanding research needs. We illustrate how modeling advances have been made by groups using models of different type and complexity, and we argue for the need to more effectively use our diversity of modeling approaches in order to advance our collective quest for physically realistic hydrologic models.

About the speakers:

Martyn Clark is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan at Canmore, Editor-in-Chief of Water Resources Research, and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Martyn’s research focuses in three main areas: (i) the development and evaluation of process-based hydrologic models; (ii) understanding the sensitivity of water resources to climate variability and change; and (iii) developing the next generation streamflow forecasting systems. Martyn has authored or co-authored over 150 journal articles since receiving his PhD in 1998.

Shervan Gharari Shervan is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Saskatchewan. Shervan’s research focuses in four main areas: (i) Understanding models and their interaction/complexity with in hand hydrological knowledge; (ii) model fidelity and realism from hillslope to continental scale; (iii) Improvement of continental scale modeling and inclusion of often neglected human impacts on hydrological cycle; and (iv) application of information theory in earth system models. Shervan has published his work in top-tier journals, including Water Resources Research, Hydrology and Earth System Science, and Journal of Hydrology.