Andrew Vierbicher

Beginning Implementation of Hydrologic Model for a Tropical Glacierized Watershed

The purpose of this project was to produce a suitable model discretization of a glacierized watershed in the Ecuadorian Andes for use by a hydrologic model. This project continues recent work in modeling a separate glacierized watershed in Ecuador in response to climate change, and one larger purpose of this project is to determine the similarities in the hydrologic responses between the two watersheds, measured by the river discharge through the outlet of the watershed. I used the geographic information system software PIHMgis to discretize the watershed into a triangular irregular network (TIN), which involved writing scripts in the Python programming language to isolate the watershed from the surroundings. Geological, hydrological, and meteorological data collected from field studies to La Dormida watershed and online databases was compiled into input for Flux-PIHM, an integrated hydrologic model to use to simulate river discharge through the watershed. Average river discharge from the simulation differed from average measured discharge over a period of 6 months by around 10%. The river discharge produced by the model is physically plausible, and further calibration of model parameters will lead to the model results more closely matching observed stream discharge.