The Effects of Spatial Resolution in Modeling the North Fork Drainage of the Gunnison River Basin

by Leslie Frankoski, (S.M.ASCE), Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Policy and Management: Solving the Problems


The U.S. Geological Survey Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) is a modular, distributed-parameter, watershed modeling system developed for use in evaluating the effects of climate and land changes on watershed response. PRMS simulates runoff for a basin by dividing a watershed into areas that each have a homogeneous hydrologic response to precipitation or snowmelt. Each of these areas is known as a hydrologic response unit (HRU). HRUs can be generated automatically using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology; however, the choice of spatial resolution within the GIS affects the delineation and characterization of HRUs, thus affecting subsequent modeling results. The study presented here involves generating HRUs under three different spatial resolutions and determining the effects that spatial resolution has on PRMS results.

Subject Headings: Drainage | Rivers and streams | Drainage basins | Geological surveys | Land surveys | Precipitation | Runoff | Hydrology

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