Open Access
Li, Wenfang
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 12, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Christopher J Duffy, Thesis Advisor
  • modeling
  • Shale Hills
  • PIHM
This thesis addresses the problem of model implementation at the Shale Hills experimental watershed using PIHM (Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Model). Ever since the 1970s, interdisciplinary teams have been working in Shale Hills watershed to study a wide range of earth science problems. However, a watershed model was not constructed until Qu and Duffy (2007) proposed the PIHM model. In recent years, the PIHM had a major update by Kumar and Bhatt where they added new flux components to the channel flow, implemented macropore effects, throughfall drainage, evaporation from ground and transpiration from the canopy. At the same time, PIHM was extended to include national databases which are referred to as A-priori data. This research was performed with NSF funding through the Susquehanna River Basin Project, the Critical zone Observatory project and the RTH_NET project. The focus of this thesis is to implement a new version of PIHM at Shale Hills using data sets recently acquired through the Critical Zone Observatory Project. These new data sets include: 3 meter digital elevation data, a new bedrock elevation coverage, the latest soil classification data from SSURGO with site specific extensions to SSURGO made by H. Lin’s group, and the National Land Cover Data distribution dataset. The updated model is calibrated through a trial and error process, using the 1974 artificial irrigation experiment by Lynch et al. The model successfully reproduces the runoff at the watershed outlet during a sequence of 6 rainfall events. It shows that the Horton overland flow and subsurface storm flow are the main drive for the runoff peak in the channel. The model also simulates groundwater levels, recharge, transpiration, etc. The model represents a preliminary calibration which will be implemented in real-time model with current data. Operating the model in real-time will allow the continuous calibration using CZO experimental data and provide feedback to scientists. Finally, Bhatt and Kumar have implemented a GIS interface for PIHM and this was used at Shale Hills for setting up the model new data coverages. A tutorial for the PIHMgis and the PIHM model is included as part of this thesis.