Baltimore Ecosystem Study Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2012 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Update on hydrologic model development of the Baltimore metropolitan area
Bhaskar, Aditi
Co-Authors: Claire Welty

Abstract: We are in the final phase of building a comprehensive surface-subsurface hydrologic model of the Baltimore metropolitan area using ParFlow coupled with the land-surface model CLM (Common Land Model). We have performed model initialization, processed a variety of hydrologic input data, and assimilated these input data. For model initialization, we used a homogeneous subsurface and hourly meteorological forcing (North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) data) over the period October 2000 October 2007. During this period, we observed simulated changes in subsurface storage and surface runoff due to interannual variability, such as a sharp decrease in subsurface storage in the 2002 dry year. We have processed and incorporated data to represent both natural aspects of the hydrologic system (e.g. hydraulic properties of soil, Piedmont saprolite and bedrock, and the Coastal Plain aquifer/aquitard system) and anthropogenic aspects of the hydrologic system (e.g. impervious surfaces, leaking pipes, lawn watering, interbasin transfers, and municipal and residential well pumping). The developed hydrologic model will be used to investigate the effects of urban features on groundwater levels and stream baseflow. This model is also part of a Coupled Human Natural systems project and will be coupled with an urban growth model to examine feedbacks between water availability and development as the Baltimore region develops in the future.