Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

A user-friendly software package to ease the use of VIC hydrologic model for practitioners

Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 08:00
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The VIC (Variable Infiltration Capacity) hydrologic and river routing model simulates the water and energy fluxes that occur near the land surface and provides users with useful information regarding the quantity and timing of available water at points of interest within the basin. However, despite its popularity (proved by numerous applications in the literature), its wider adoption is hampered by the considerable effort required to prepare model inputs; e.g., input files storing spatial information related to watershed topography, soil properties, and land cover. This study presents a user-friendly software package (named VIC Setup Toolkit) developed within the MATLAB (matrix laboratory) framework and accessible through an intuitive graphical user interface. The VIC Setup Toolkit enables users to navigate the model building process confidently through prompts and automation, with an intention to promote the use of the model for both practical and academic purposes. The automated processes include watershed delineation, climate and geographical input set-up, model parameter calibration, graph generation and output evaluation. We demonstrate the package’s usefulness in various case studies with the American River, Oklahoma River, Feather River and Zambezi River basins.

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