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Great Lake basins (U.S.A.-Canada) runoff modeling

Large-scale watershed models are required in order to estimate basin runoff to the Great Lakes for use in routing determinations and operational hydrology studies. Data limitations, large-basin applicability and economic efficiency preclude the use of existing large-watershed models. This paper describes an interdependent tank-cascade model that uses a mass balance coupled with linear reservoir concepts. It is physically based and uses climatological considerations not possible for small watersheds; it employs analytical solutions to bypass numerical inaccuracies. Snowmelt and net-supply computations are separable from the mass-balance determinations and are based on a simple heat balance. Partial-area concepts are used to determine infiltration and surface runoff. Losses are determined from joint consideration of available energy for evapotranspiration and of available moisture in the soil horizons by using climatologic concepts. Also described are heuristic calibration procedures that give insight into the use of the model. The model is applied, for a 30-day computation interval, to the Genesee River Basin in New York State and compared with past 6-hr. computation interval applications of the Streamflow Synthesis and Reservoir Regulation (SSARR) and National Weather Service Hydrologic (NWSH) models to the same data set.

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