A Geographic Information System Tool for Hydrologic Model Setup

David G Tarboton1, Kiran K Chinnayakanahalli1, Daniel P Ames1, Ross Woods2
1.  Utah State University
2.  NIWA, New Zealand

Abstract of Presentation at AWRA/UCOWR speciality conference on "Decision Support Systems for Water Resources Management" - June 26 - 30, 2001 - Snowbird, Utah. [Powerpoint]

This paper describes a GIS tool to facilitate the computation of input parameters for TOPNET.   TOPNET is a TOPMODEL based hydrologic modeling system that includes saturation and infiltration excess runoff generation processes, interception, evapotranspiration, precipitation interpolation and kinematic wave routing in channels.  The GIS based TOPSETUP tool includes objective digital elevation model based channel network delineation and estimation of topographic and geomorphologic parameters from the digital elevation model.  The GIS implementation facilitates the estimation of other parameters from GIS information about soils and vegetation where this is readily available, such as in national databases.  Model elements are subwatersheds automatically extracted based upon the channel network extracted from the digital elevation model at a user controlled scale.  Model element parameters are linked to GIS information averaged over each subwatershed.  The software described is available from http://hydrology.usu.edu/dtarb/.