Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 619–644, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-10-619-2006

Special issue: Towards a new generation of hydrological process models for...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 619–644, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-10-619-2006

  13 Sep 2006

13 Sep 2006

Extension of the Representative Elementary Watershed approach for cold regions via explicit treatment of energy related processes

F. Tian1,2, H. Hu1,2, Z. Lei1,2, and M. Sivapalan3 F. Tian et al.
  • 1Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 3Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 220 Davenport Hall, MC-150, 607 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Abstract. The paper extends the Representative Elementary Watershed (REW) theory for cold regions through explicit treatment of energy balance equations to include associated processes and process descriptions. A new definition of REW is presented which subdivides the REW into six surface sub-regions and two subsurface sub-regions. Vegetation, snow, soil ice, and glacier ice are included in the system so that such phenomena as evaporation/transpiration, melting, freezing, and thawing can be modeled in a physically reasonable way. The sub-stream-network is separated from other sub-regions so that the sub-REW-scale runoff routing function can be modeled explicitly. The final system of 24 ordinary differential equations (ODEs) can meet the requirements of most hydrological modeling applications, and the formulation procedure is re-arranged so that further inclusion of sub-regions and substances could be done more easily. The number of unknowns is more than the number of equations, which leads to the indeterminate system. Complementary equations are provided based on geometric relationships and constitutive relationships that represent geomorphological and hydrological characteristics of a watershed. Reggiani et al. (1999, 2000, 2001) and Lee et al. (2005b) have previously proposed sets of closure relationships for unknown mass and momentum exchange fluxes. Tian (2006) has applied Lee's procedures and formulas and Monte Carlo simulation method, and has come up with a determinate system based on the equations, though precluding energy balance ones, proposed in this paper. The additional geometric and constitutive relationships required to close the new set of balance equations will be pursued in a subsequent paper.