Design, Programming and Maintenance of HSPF

by Robert C. Johanson, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif. 95211,
John L. Kittle, (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Anderson-Nichols Co., Palo Alto, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of Technical Topics in Civil Engineering, 1983, Vol. 109, Issue 1, Pg. 41-57

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) is a comprehensive model for simulation of watershed hydrology and water quality, sponsored by the EPA. HSPF evolved from several earlier models including HSP and the ARM and NPS models. Thus, the representation of physical processes are similar to those in the predecessor models. These aspects of HSPF have been well documented for several years. The main features that distinguish HSPF from the earlier models are in the area of software design. The new model was not patched together from the old models. HSPF was designed as a new, integrated system using the concepts of Structured Programming Technology. This paper describes how these principles were applied to HSPF and discusses some of the resulting benefits such as ease of program modification and extension, improved reliability of the code and easier error detection and correction. The steps taken to make this very large system relatively easy to install on a variety of different computers, and the experiences gained in supporting it over the past two years, are also discussed.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Computer programming | Maintenance | Water quality | Computer models | Computer software | Simulation models | Watersheds

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