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  • Updates to Watershed Modeling in the Potholes Reservoir Basin, Washington—a Supplement to Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5081

    By Mark Mastin

    Open File Report 2012–1251

    U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey

  • Cover: “A concrete-lined head ditch caries water for gravity-flow irrigation on a farm in Winchester, Washington, Columbia Basin Project” Photograph taken May 30, 1973. (Photograph number C222-100-349, obtained with permission from the Bureau of Reclamation, accessed July 18, 2012, at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g5000/photolab/gallery_detail.cfm?PICIDTYPE=8561).

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    U.S. Department of the Interior KEN SALAZAR, Secretary

    U.S. Geological Survey Marcia K. McNutt, Director

    U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia: 2012

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    Suggested citation: Mastin, M.C, 2012, Updates to watershed modeling in the Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington—a supplement to Scientific Investigation Report 2009-5081: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1251, 52 p.

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    Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................................... 1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................... 1 Purpose and Scope ....................................................................................................................................................... 3 Updating the Watershed Model to Incorporate Two New Meteorological Sites ............................................................. 3

    Comparisons of Measured Hydrologic Data with Simulations by the 2009 and 2012 Models .................................... 4 New Real-Time Data-Retrieval Program, the Potholes Data Chimp .......................................................................... 5

    Object User Interface for Making Watershed Model Runs and Viewing Data ................................................................ 6 Major Tree Nodes ...................................................................................................................................................... 7

    Basin Maps Major Tree Node ................................................................................................................................. 7 Model Unit Maps Major Tree Node ......................................................................................................................... 7 Models & Data Major Tree Node ............................................................................................................................ 8

    Method for Collecting Snow Data and Incorporating the Data into the Watershed Model ............................................10 Measurements of Snow ............................................................................................................................................10

    Snow-Survey Methodology....................................................................................................................................10 Distributing Snow-Course Information throughout the Watershed ............................................................................12 Adding Distributed Snow Information to the Current Watershed Model ....................................................................13

    Summary ......................................................................................................................................................................15 References Cited ..........................................................................................................................................................16 Appendix A. Potholes Watershed Model Background .................................................................................................35 Appendix B. Snow-Course Locations ..........................................................................................................................36

    Figures Figure 1. Locations of streamflow-gaging stations and boundaries of the Columbia Basin Project and study area in the Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington .................................................................................................................. 17 Figure 2. Watershed modeling units, streamflow-gaging stations and new and existing meteorological sites that provide input data to the watershed models, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington .................................................. 18 Figure 3. Comparison of measured discharge and discharge simulated with the 2009 and 2012 models at three streamflow-gaging stations, upper Crab Creek basin, Washington water years 2010-11 ............................................ 19 Figure 4. Measured hydrologic variables and hydrologic variables simulated using the 2009 and 2012 models at Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU) 148 near Davenport, Washington, water years 2010-11 ........................................ 20 Figure 5. Screen capture showing the Potholes Data Chimp data information window. ............................................ 21 Figure 6. Object User Interface (OUI) directory structure for the Potholes watershed model, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington ....................................................................................................................................................... 22 Figure 7. Screen shot of the Object User Interface (OUI) opening screen showing the tree nodes under the three major tree nodes (left panel) and the Map Mode panel (right panel) showing maps of two selected tree node elements, “Models” and “Crab Ck MRUs” from the “Model Unit Maps” tree node ........................................................ 23 Figure 8. Screen shot of the Object User Interface (OUI) main window showing the real-time stations in the Map Mode window with the Davenport, Washington, station selected (top), and the Time Series Tool window with a zoomed-in plot of precipitation input data .................................................................................................................... 24 Figure 9. Screen capture of the ESP report, Run MMS Model in ESP Mode, and OUI ESP Tool windows. .............. 25 Figure 10. Screen capture of the opening window for the Modular Modeling System (MMS) traditional user interface for the Crab Creek model, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington .............................................................................. 26 Figure 11. Screen capture of the MMS Run Control - Single Run window for the Modular Modeling System traditional user interface for the Crab Creek model, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington ....................................................... 27

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    Figure 12. Existing network of snow courses in and near the watershed model boundaries, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington ............................................................................................................................................................. 28 Figure 13. Snow-water equivalent measured at nine locations during January 8-9, 2004, and snow-water equivalent throughout the model domain estimated based on the measured values, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington. .... 29 Figure 14. A proposed field-sheet layout for collecting snow-survey information. ...................................................... 30 Figure 15. Screen capture of spreadsheet used to calculate variables freeh2o, pk_ice, and pk_depth. .................... 31 Figure 16. Screen capture of Ensemble Streamflow Prediction (ESP) update window with start and end date and variable file entered for the example ESP model run updated with snow-survey data. ................................................ 31

    Tables Table 1. Comparison of measured runoff volumes and runoff volumes simulated with the 2012 model at three streamflow-gaging stations, upper Crab Creek basin, Washington, January 1-June 30, water years (WY) 2010-11. . 32 Table 2. Comparison of measured runoff volumes and the Ensemble Streamflow Prediction (ESP) 50-percent- exceedance-probability runoff volumes generated by the 2009 and 2012 models at three streamflow-gaging stations, upper Crab Creek basin, Washington, for runoff season January 1-June 30, water years (WY) 2010-11 ..... 32 Table 3. Meteorological sites, data sources, and sequence numbers indicating the order of data items in the input file for the real-time Potholes watershed model, Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington. .................................. 33 Table 4. Point identification numbers and related snow-course names for the in

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