First Advisor

Hamid Moradkhani

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Hydrologic models, Snow -- Mathematical models, Water-supply -- Management -- Remote sensing



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 98 p.) : ill. (some col.), col. maps


This thesis is a combination of two separate studies which examine hydrologic data assimilation techniques: 1) to determine the applicability of assimilation of remotely sensed data in operational models and 2) to compare the effectiveness of assimilation and other calibration techniques. The first study examines the ability of Data Assimilation of remotely sensed microwave radiance data to improve snow water equivalent prediction, and ultimately operational streamflow forecasts. Operational streamflow forecasts in the National Weather Service River Forecast Center are produced with a coupled SNOW17 (snow model) and SACramento Soil Moisture Accounting (SAC-SMA) model. A comparison of two assimilation techniques, the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) and the Particle Filter (PF), is made using a coupled SNOW17 and the Microwave Emission Model for Layered Snowpack model to assimilate microwave radiance data. Microwave radiance data, in the form of brightness temperature (TB), is gathered from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System at the 36.5GHz channel. SWE prediction is validated in a synthetic experiment. The distribution of snowmelt from an experiment with real data is then used to run the SAC-SMA model. Several scenarios on state or joint state-parameter updating with TB data assimilation to SNOW-17 and SAC-SMA models were analyzed, and the results show potential benefit for operational streamflow forecasting. The second study compares the effectiveness of different calibration techniques in hydrologic modeling. Currently, the most commonly used methods for hydrologic model calibration are global optimization techniques. While these techniques have become very efficient and effective in optimizing the complicated parameter space of hydrologic models, the uncertainty with respect to parameters is ignored. This has led to recent research looking into Bayesian Inference through Monte Carlo methods to analyze the ability to calibrate models and represent the uncertainty in relation to the parameters. Research has recently been performed in filtering and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques for optimization of hydrologic models. At this point, a comparison of the effectiveness of global optimization, filtering and MCMC techniques has yet to be reported in the hydrologic modeling community. This study compares global optimization, MCMC, the PF, the Particle Smoother, the EnKF and the Ensemble Kalman Smoother for the purpose of parameter estimation in both the HyMod and SAC-SMA hydrologic models.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Persistent Identifier