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Multiple Resolution Watershed Analysis

The BYU Hydroinformatics lab is comparing the effects of watershed resolution on streamflow predictions. BYU will show that increasing watershed resolution does not compromise streamflow predictions. Higher resolution watersheds contain more containment basins that divide rivers and streams into smaller segments. Each watershed was given three different resolutions, low (3 containment basins), medium (7 containment basins), and high (20 containment basins). Each resolution of the 5 selected watersheds were run through 35 years of daily historic stream flow rates. By comparing the simulation to actual stream flow and to each other, the effect of resolution on streamflow predictions.


Even though the tests are ongoing, preliminary results look promising. Low, medium, and high resolutions for the same watershed are returning consistent and reliable results. The expected results will allow higher watershed resolutions to gain more data about specific areas. This will also continue allowing low resolution analysis for more general predictions.

This study is made possible by the Comprehensive Streamflow Prediction and Visualization to Support Integrated Water Management grant from NASA SERVIR.