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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Geographic Information Systems and Distributed Watershed Models Part Ii: Modules, Interfaces, and Models

Authors
item Ogden, Fred - UNIV. OF CONNECTICUT
item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Debarry, Paul - BORTON-LAWSON ENGINEERING

Submitted to: Journal Hydrologic Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2001
Publication Date: November 1, 2001

Interpretive Summary: This is the second paper of a two-part paper that presents state-of-the-art integrated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and hydrologic analysis software and techniques. This second paper addresses the use of GIS and computer models to take advantage of spatially-distributed data in GIS (covered in the first paper) for watershed analysis and hydrologic modeling gpurposes. The use of GIS and hydrologic analysis software offer scientists, engineers, watershed managers, and data collection agencies unprecedented capabilities for analyzing watershed data. However, there is a shortfall of widely accepted techniques to take full advantage of these capabilities. This second paper presents issues on and examples of GIS and watershed analysis models, and provides recommendations with respect to organization and implementation of the use of spatial data, GIS and distributed watershed models. The paper also addresses GIS tailored watershed models, GIS capability development, fundamental research on distributed hydrologic modeling, and finally, regulatory acceptance of the new tools and methodologies. The purpose of this paper is to provide the scientists and engineers with an overview of the multiple facets of data-GIS-modeling system and a source of background information for selection and application of GIS in watershed modeling.

Technical Abstract: The first paper of this series discusses data sources for distributed hydrologic modeling and their associated uncertainties. This second paper presents a number of applications and models that can take advantage of spatially-distributed data in GIS format for watershed analysis and hydrologic modeling purposes. Our intention is to introduce engineers and companies with little GIS experience to the GIS-hydrologic modeling world, and to provide an initial guide on implementing GIS for hydrologic modeling. This paper also discusses key implementation issues for individuals and organizations that are considering making the transition to the use of GIS in hydrology. Widespread use of GIS-modules and distributed watershed models is inevitable. The controlling factors are: data availability, GIS-module development, fundamental research on distributed hydrologic modeling, and finally, regulatory acceptance of the new tools and methodologies. GIS modules and distributed hydrologic models will enable the progression of hydrology from a field dominated by techniques that require spatial averaging and empiricism to a more spatially-descriptive science.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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