- Researcher, Hydrologic Information Systems
Matej Durcik received his graduate degrees in information sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and in physics from the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He is currently a researcher at the University of Arizona where he focuses on application of information technologies to environmental sciences, data analysis and modeling. He serves as a data and information manager for two major projects, Catalina-Jemez Critical Zone Observatory and Landscape Evolution Observatory. In the past, he was associated with the Hydrologic Synthesis project where he developed new dataset which was used in modeling and synthesis efforts which resulted in a production of over twelve scientific articles. As a part of the SAHRA center he was involved in developing a novel conceptual approach for distributed hydrologic parameter identification based on hydrologic similarity and landscape classification used in distributed hydrologic modeling, and designing and implementing multi model system for the estimation of terrestrial water storage in the Colorado River basin. On the beginning of his scientific career, he co-founded the National Metrological Centre for Radon Quantities and was involved in many projects with focus on measurements of natural radiation and its variations.
- M.S. Information Science
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
- Ph.D. Nuclear and Sub-Nuclear
- Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
- Dosimetry of Radon, Thoron, and their Decay Products
- M.S. Nuclear Physics
- Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
- Characteristics of Transition Radiation
- Biosphere 2, University of Arizona (2013 - Ongoing)
- Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Univerzity of Arizona (2004 - 2013)
- School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh (2002 - 2004)
- Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Management, Comenius University (1996 - 1999)
- Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine (1991 - 2003)
- Department of Nuclear Physics, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University (1988 - 1991)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Database Systems, Geo-spatial Modeling, Hydrological Modeling, Data Analysis, Remote Sensing, Data Management, Environmental Physics, and Radiation Monitoring and Dosimetry
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- Volkmann, T. H., Sengupta, A., Pangle, L. A., Dontsova, K. M., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Harman, C. J., Niu, G., Meredith, L., Abramson, N., Alves Meira Neto, A., Wang, Y., Adams, J. R., Breshears, D. D., Bugaj, A., Chorover, J. D., Cueva, A., DeLong, S. B., Durcik, M., Ferre, P. A., , Huxman, T. E., et al. (2018). Controlled Experiments of Hillslope Coevolution at the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory: Toward Prediction of Coupled Hydrological, Biogeochemical, and Ecological Changes. In Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments, Jiu-Fu Liu and Wei-Zu Gu. Rijeka, Croatia: IntechOpen. doi:10.5772/intechopen.72325More infoUnderstanding the process interactions and feedbacks among water, porous geological media, microbes, and vascular plants is crucial for improving predictions of the response of Earth’s critical zone to future climatic conditions. However, the integrated coevolution of landscapes under change is notoriously difficult to investigate. Laboratory studies are limited in spatial and temporal scale, while field studies lack observational density and control. To bridge the gap between controlled laboratory and uncontrollable field studies, the University of Arizona built a macrocosm experiment of unprecedented scale: the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO). LEO comprises three replicated, heavily instrumented, hillslope-scale model landscapes within the environmentally controlled Biosphere 2 facility. The model landscapes were designed to initially be simple and purely abiotic, enabling scientists to observe each step in the landscapes’ evolution as they undergo physical, chemical, and biological changes over many years. This chapter describes the model systems and associated research facilities and illustrates how LEO allows for tracking of multiscale matter and energy fluxes at a level of detail impossible in field experiments. Initial sensor, sampler, and soil coring data are already providing insights into the tight linkages between water flow, weathering, and microbial community development. These interacting processes are anticipated to drive the model systems to increasingly complex states and will be impacted by the introduction of vascular plants and changes in climatic regimes over the years to come. By intensively monitoring the evolutionary trajectory, integrating data with mathematical models, and fostering community-wide collaborations, we envision that emergent landscape structures and functions can be linked, and significant progress can be made toward predicting the coupled hydro-biogeochemical and ecological responses to global change.
- Karimi, H. A., Sutovsky, P., & Durcik, M. (2008). Accuracy and performance assessment of a window-based heuristic algorithm for real-time routing in map-based mobile applications. In Map-Based Mobile Services(pp 248--266). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
- Liu, Y., Durcik, M., Gupta, H. V., & Wagener, T. (2008). Developing distributed conceptual hydrological models from geospatial databases. In Groundwater-surface water interaction: process understanding, conceptualization and modelling (Proceedings of Symposium HS1002 at IUGG2007, Perugia, July 2007)(pp 94--102). IAHS Publication No.321.
- Arevalo Borquez, J. A., Zeng, X., Durcik, M., Sibayan, M., Pangle, L., Abramson, N., Bugaj, A., Ng, W., Kim, M., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Van Haren, J. L., Niu, G., Adams, J., Ruiz, J., & Troch, P. A. (2020). Highly sampled measurements in a controlled atmosphere at the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory. Scientific Data, 7, 306. doi:10.1038/s41597-020-00645-5More infoLand-atmosphere interactions at different temporal and spatial scales are important for our understanding of the Earth system and its modeling. The Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) at Biosphere 2, managed by the University of Arizona, hosts three nearly identical artificial bare-soil hillslopes with dimensions of 11 × 30 m2 (1 m depth) in a controlled and highly monitored environment within three large greenhouses. These facilities provide a unique opportunity to explore these interactions. The dataset presented here is a subset of the measurements in each LEO’s hillslopes, from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2019 every 15 minutes, consisting of temperature, water content and heat flux of the soil (at 5 cm depth) for 12 co-located points; temperature, relative humidity and wind speed above ground at 5 locations and 5 different heights ranging from 0.25 m to 9–10 m; 3D wind at 1 location; the four components of radiation at 2 locations; spatially aggregated precipitation rates, total subsurface discharge, and relative water storage; and the measurements from a weather station outside the greenhouses.
- Roy, T., Valdes, J., Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Durcik, M., Demaria, E. M., Valdes, R., & Gupta, H. V. (2020). Detailed overview of the multimodel multiproduct streamflow forecasting platform. Journal of Applied Water Engineering and Research, Online. doi:10.1080/23249676.2020.1799442More infoWe present a detailed overview of the Multi-model Multi-product Streamflow Forecasting (MMSF) Platform, which has been developed recently at the University of Arizona under the NASA SERVIR Program, to ease its operational implementation. The platform is based on the use of multiple hydrologic models, satellite-based precipitation products, advanced bias correction schemes, model calibration, and probabilistic model averaging, with the goal of improving forecast accuracy and better-characterizing forecast uncertainties, especially in poorly gauged basins. This paper includes a brief description of the platform, followed by all the relevant information a user would need to implement the platform on any new river basin.
- Chang, L., Dwivedi, R., Knowles, J. F., Fang, Y., Niu, G., Pelletier, J. D., Rasmussen, C., Durcik, M., Barron-Gafford, G. A., & Meixner, T. (2018). Why Do Large‐Scale Land Surface Models Produce a Low Ratio of Transpiration to Evapotranspiration?. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(17), 9109-9130. doi:10.1029/2018JD029159More infoMost land surface models (LSMs) used in Earth System Models produce a lower ratio of transpiration (T) to evapotranspiration (ET) than field observations, degrading the credibility of Earth System Model‐projected ecosystem responses and feedbacks to climate change. To interpret this model deficiency, we conducted a pair of model experiments using a three‐dimensional, process‐based ecohydrological model in a subhumid, mountainous catchment. One experiment (CTRL) describes lateral water flow, topographic shading, leaf dynamics, and water vapor diffusion in the soil, while the other (LSM like) does not explicitly describe these processes to mimic a conventional LSM using artificially flattened terrain. Averaged over the catchment, CTRL produced a higher T/ET ratio (72%) than LSM like (55%) and agreed better with an independent estimate (79.79 ± 27%) based on rainfall and stream water isotopes. To discern the exact causes, we conducted additional model experiments, each reverting only one process described in CTRL to that of LSM like. These experiments revealed that the enhanced T/ET ratio was mostly caused by lateral water flow and water vapor diffusion within the soil. In particular, terrain‐driven lateral water flows spread out soil moisture to a wider range along hillslopes with an optimum subrange from the middle to upper slopes, where evaporation (E) was more suppressed by the drier surface than T due to plant uptake of deep soil water, thereby enhancing T/ET. A more elaborate representation of water vapor diffusion from a dynamically changing evaporating surface to the height of the surface roughness length reduced E and increased the T/ET ratio.
- Roy, T., Valdes, J. B., Lyon, B., Demaria, E. M., Serrat-Capdevila, A., Gupta, H. V., Valdes-Pineda, R., & Durcik, M. (2018). Assessing hydrological impacts of short-term climate change in the Mara River basin of East Africa. Journal of Hydrology, 566, 818-829. doi:10.1016/J.JHYDROL.2018.08.051More infoWe assess the impacts of a range of short-term climate change scenarios (2020–2050) on the hydrology of the Mara River Basin in East Africa using a new high-resolution (0.25°) daily climate dataset. The scenarios combine natural climate variability, as captured by a vector autoregressive (VAR) model, with a range of climate trends calculated from 31 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). The methodology translates these climate scenarios into plausible daily sequences of climate variables utilizing the Agricultural Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (AgMERRA) dataset. The new dataset (VARAG) has several advantages over traditional general circulation model outputs, such as, the statistical representation of short-term natural climate variability, availability at a daily time scale and high spatial resolution, not requiring additional downscaling, and the use of the AgMERRA data which is bias-corrected extensively. To assess the associated impacts on basin hydrology, the semi-distributed Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land-surface model is forced with the climate scenarios, after being calibrated for the study area using the fine-resolution (0.05°) merged satellite and in-situ observation-based dataset, Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS). The climate data are further bias-corrected by applying a non-parametric quantile mapping scheme, where the cumulative distribution functions are approximated using kernel densities. Three different wetness scenarios (dry, average, and wet) are analyzed to see the potential short-term changes in the basin. We find that the precipitation bias correction is more in effect in the mountainous sub-basins, one of which also shows the maximum difference between the wet and dry scenario streamflows. Precipitation, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture show increasing trends mostly during the primary rainy season, while no trend is found in the corresponding streamflows. The annual values of these variables also do not change much in the coming three decades. The methodology implemented in this study provides a reliable range of possibilities which can greatly benefit risk analysis and infrastructure designing, and shows potential to be applied to other basins.
- Roy, T., Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Valdes, J. B., Durcik, M., & Gupta, H. V. (2017). Design and implementation of an operational multimodel multiproduct real-time probabilistic streamflow forecasting platform. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 19(6), 911-919. doi:10.2166/hydro.2017.111More infoThe task of real-time streamflow monitoring and forecasting is particularly challenging for ungauged or sparsely gauged river basins, and largely relies upon satellite-based estimates of precipitation. We present the design and implementation of a state-of-the-art real-time streamflow monitoring and forecasting platform that integrates information provided by cutting-edge satellite precipitation products (SPPs), numerical precipitation forecasts, and multiple hydrologic models, to generate probabilistic streamflow forecasts that have an effective lead time of 9 days. The modular design of the platform enables adding/removing any model/product as may be appropriate. The SPPs are bias-corrected in real-time, and the model-generated streamflow forecasts are further bias-corrected and merged, to produce probabilistic forecasts that are computed via several model averaging techniques. The platform is currently operational in multiple river basins in Africa, and can also be adapted to any new basin by incorporating some basin-specific changes and recalibration of the hydrologic models.
- Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Merino, M., Valdes, J. B., & Durcik, M. (2016). Evaluation of the Performance of Three Satellite Precipitation Products over Africa. Remote Sensing, 8(10), 836. doi:10.3390/rs8100836More infoWe present an evaluation of daily estimates from three near real-time quasi-global Satellite Precipitation Products—Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN), and Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Morphing Technique (CMORPH)—over the African continent, using the Global Precipitation Climatology Project one Degree Day (GPCP-1dd) as a reference dataset for years 2001 to 2013. Different types of errors are characterized for each season as a function of spatial classifications (latitudinal bands, climatic zones and topography) and in relationship with the main rain-producing mechanisms in the continent: the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the East African Monsoon. A bias correction of the satellite estimates is applied using a probability density function (pdf) matching approach, with a bias analysis as a function of rain intensity, season and latitude. The effects of bias correction on different error terms are analyzed, showing an almost elimination of the mean and variance terms in most of the cases. While raw estimates of TMPA show higher efficiency, all products have similar efficiencies after bias correction. PERSIANN consistently shows the smallest median errors when it correctly detects precipitation events. The areas with smallest relative errors and other performance measures follow the position of the ITCZ oscillating seasonally over the equator, illustrating the close relationship between satellite estimates and rainfall regime.
- Vázquez-Ortega, A., Huckle, D., Perdrial, J., Amistadi, M. K., Durcik, M., Rasmussen, C., Mcintosh, J. C., & Chorover, J. D. (2016). Solid-phase redistribution of rare earth elements in hillslope pedons subjected to different hydrologic fluxes. Chemical Geology, 426, 1-18. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.01.001More infoPrior studies indicate that patterns of rare earth element (REE) depletion or enrichment in critical zone (CZ) weathering systems are sensitive to variation not only in lithology, but also in climatic and/or biological processes. Organic ligands and secondary mineral surfaces vary in complex stability with different lanthanide series metals, which can result in solid-solution fractionation during incongruent mineral dissolution. REE fractionation during precipitation of solid phase weathering products is also expected to vary with host phase affinity and aqueous geochemistry along fluid flow paths. We postulated that patterns of REE fractionation during pedogenic weathering would exhibit mass-dependent trends as a function of depth in the soil profile. We further hypothesized that REE signatures would be influenced by depth-dependent variation in water and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes resulting from topographic position of the pedon under investigation. Field-based hypothesis testing utilized instrumented pedons derived from rhyolitic bedrock overlain by mixed conifer forest in the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory (JRB-CZO). REE depletion trends correlated with topographically-induced variation in soil pore water and DOC through-fluxes occurring predominantly during winter snowmelt. Bulk regolith analyses indicated that light rare earth elements (LREE) were depleted preferentially relative to medium and heavy REE (MREE and HREE). Lateral fluxes of water and DOC through subsurface horizons in the concave hillslope pedon correlated not only with greater REE depletion, but also with greater fractionation of REE into organo-metal colloid forms (2-23%) relative to a planar site hillslope pedon (3-13%) where vertical water and DOC fluxes were predominant. MREEs were preferentially retained in secondary colloids, indicating a mechanism for their stabilization in the weathering profile. Positive Ce-anomalies in the soils were the result of Ce retention in pedogenic Fe-(oxy)hydroxides.
- Pangle, L. A., Delong, S. B., Abramson, N., Adams, J., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Breshears, D. D., Brooks, P. D., Chorover, J. D., Dietrich, W. E., Dontsova, K. M., Durcik, M., Espleta, J., Ferre, P. A., Ferriere, R. H., Henderson, W., Hunt, E. A., Huxman, T. E., Millar, D., Murphy, B., , Niu, G., et al. (2015). The Landscape Evolution Observatory: A large-scale controllable infrastructure to study Earth-surface processes.. Geomorphology, 244, 190-203. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.020
- Niu, G., Paniconi, C., Troch, P. A., Scott, R. L., Durcik, M., Zeng, X., Huxman, T., & Goodrich, D. C. (2014). An integrated modelling framework of catchment- scale ecohydrological processes: 1. Model description and tests over an energy- limited watershed. ECOHYDROLOGY, 7(2), 427-439. doi:10.1002/eco.1362More infoThe interactions between atmospheric, hydrological, and ecological processes at various spatial and temporal scales are not fully represented in most ecohydrological models. This first of a two-part paper documents a fully integrated catchment-scale ecohydrological model consisting of a three-dimensional physically based hydrological model and a land surface model. This first part also presents a first application to test the model over an energy-limited catchment (8.4km(2)) of the Sleepers River watershed in Vermont. The physically based hydrological model (CATchment HYdrology, CATHY) describes three-dimensional subsurface flow in variably saturated porous media and surface routing on hillslopes and in stream channels, whereas the land surface model (LSM), an augmented version of Noah LSM with multiple parameterization schemes (NoahMP), accounts for energy, water, and carbon flux exchanges between various land surface elements and the atmosphere. CATHY and NoahMP are coupled through exchanges of water fluxes and states. In the energy-limited catchment of the Sleepers River watershed, where snowmelt runoff generation is the dominant hydrologic flux, the coupled CATHY/NoahMP model at both 90 and 30-m surface grid resolutions, with minimal calibration, performs well in simulating the observed snow accumulation, and melt and subsequent snowmelt discharge. The Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency of daily discharge is above 0.82 for both resolutions. The simulation at 90-m resolution shows a marginal improvement over that at 30-m resolution because of more elaborate calibration of model parameters. The coupled CATHY/NoahMP also shows a capability of simulating surface-inundated area and distributed surface water height, although the accuracy of these simulations needs further evaluation. The CATHY/NoahMP model is thus also a potentially useful research tool for predicting flash flood and lake dynamics under climatic change. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Niu, G., Troch, P. A., Paniconi, C., Scott, R. L., Durcik, M., Zeng, X., Huxman, T., Goodrich, D., & Pelletier, J. (2014). An integrated modelling framework of catchment- scale ecohydrological processes: 2. The role of water subsidy by overland flow on vegetation dynamics in a semi- arid catchment. ECOHYDROLOGY, 7(2), 815-827. doi:10.1002/eco.1405More infoIn water-limited regions, surface water and carbon fluxes are strongly controlled by soil water availability, which may be highly variable at very small spatial scales (e.g. metres) because of variations in terrain, soils, and vegetation conditions and to processes of water redistribution along hillslopes. This second of a two-part paper first evaluates the performance of a newly developed ecohydrological model over a small semi-arid experimental catchment (792ha) in southeastern Arizona. Secondly, it investigates the effects of soil properties on water subsidy resulting from lateral overland flow re-infiltration and on overall ecohydrological response. With optimized parameters, the model shows a higher ability to simulate surface energy and water fluxes than CO2 fluxes at all temporal scales. The model simulates observed CO2 fluxes fairly well at diurnal scales during the main growing seasons and the interannual variability of these fluxes in response to soil moisture variations from drought years to wet years. However, the model reproduces less well carbon assimilation in spring and positive CO2 flux pulses following early monsoon rain events, suggesting a need for further development of the model's representations of multiple plant species and soil carbon decomposition. The model simulates soil moisture at 5cm much better than at 15cm mainly because of heterogeneous soil properties. Through five numerical experiments with varying saturated hydraulic conductivity values, it is revealed that the discharge at the outlet of this semi-arid catchment is essentially attributed to lateral overland flow that is generated mainly by infiltration-excess runoff. Subsurface flow plays a minor role in this semi-arid catchment with a very deep groundwater table (>100m). The model produces wetter soils in lowland areas along stream rills and channels through re-infiltration of lateral overland flow. This water subsidy provides plants with favourable conditions to produce more leaves, CO2, and ET fluxes in lowland areas. Re-infiltration of overland flow over complex terrain may play a role in buffering climatic impacts in a warming climate with fewer but more intense rainfall events in the Southwestern United States. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Pelletier, J. D., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Breshears, D. D., Brooks, P. D., Chorover, J., Durcik, M., Harman, C. J., Huxman, T. E., Lohse, K. A., Lybrand, R., Meixner, T., McIntosh, J. C., Papuga, S. A., Rasmussen, C., Schaap, M., Swetnam, T. L., & Troch, P. A. (2013). Coevolution of nonlinear trends in vegetation, soils, and topography with elevation and slope aspect: A case study in the sky islands of southern Arizona. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE, 118(2), 741-758.More infoFeedbacks among vegetation dynamics, pedogenesis, and topographic development affect the critical zonethe living filter for Earth's hydrologic, biogeochemical, and rock/sediment cycles. Assessing the importance of such feedbacks, which may be particularly pronounced in water-limited systems, remains a fundamental interdisciplinary challenge. The sky islands of southern Arizona offer an unusually well-defined natural experiment involving such feedbacks because mean annual precipitation varies by a factor of five over distances of approximately 10 km in areas of similar rock type (granite) and tectonic history. Here we compile high-resolution, spatially distributed data for Effective Energy and Mass Transfer (EEMT: the energy available to drive bedrock weathering), above-ground biomass, soil thickness, hillslope-scale topographic relief, and drainage density in two such mountain ranges (Santa Catalina: SCM; Pinaleno: PM). Strong correlations exist among vegetation-soil-topography variables, which vary nonlinearly with elevation, such that warm, dry, low-elevation portions of these ranges are characterized by relatively low above-ground biomass, thin soils, minimal soil organic matter, steep slopes, and high drainage densities; conversely, cooler, wetter, higher elevations have systematically higher biomass, thicker organic-rich soils, gentler slopes, and lower drainage densities. To test if eco-pedo-geomorphic feedbacks drive this pattern, we developed a landscape evolution model that couples pedogenesis and topographic development over geologic time scales, with rates explicitly dependent on vegetation density. The model self-organizes into states similar to those observed in SCM and PM. Our results highlight the potential importance of eco-pedo-geomorphic feedbacks, mediated by soil thickness, in water-limited systems.
- Wi, S., Dominguez, F., Durcik, M., Valdes, J., Diaz, H. F., & Castro, C. L. (2012). Climate change projection of snowfall in the Colorado River Basin using dynamical downscaling. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, 48.More infoRecent observations show a decrease in the fraction of precipitation falling as snowfall in the western United States. In this work we evaluate a historical and future climate simulation over the Colorado River Basin using a 35 km continuous 111 year simulation (1969-2079) of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model with boundary forcing from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research/Met Office's HadCM3 model with A2 emission scenario. The focus of this work is to (1) evaluate the simulated spatiotemporal variability of snowfall in the historical period when compared to observations and (2) project changes in snowfall and the fraction of precipitation that falls as snow during the 21st century. We find that the spatial variability in modeled snowfall in the historical period (1981-2005) is realistically represented when compared to observations. The trends of modeled snowfall are similar to the observed trends except at higher elevations. Examining the continuous 111 year simulation, we find the future projections show statistically significant increases in temperature with larger increases in the northern part of the basin. There are statistically insignificant increases in precipitation, while snowfall shows a statistically significant decrease throughout the period in all but the highest elevations and latitudes. The fraction of total precipitation falling as snow shows statistically significant declines in all regions. The strongest decrease in snowfall is seen at high elevations in the southern part of the basin and low elevations in the northern part of the basin. The regions of most intense decreases in snow experience a decline of approximately 50% in snowfall throughout the 111 year simulation period. The regions of strongest declines in snowfall roughly correspond to the region of migration of the zero degree Celsius line and emphasize snowfall dependence on both altitude and latitude.
- Brooks, P. D., Troch, P. A., Durcik, M., Gallo, E., & Schlegel, M. (2011). Quantifying regional scale ecosystem response to changes in precipitation: Not all rain is created equal. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, 47.More infoPrimary productivity and vegetation cover are strongly related to how precipitation is partitioned into surface discharge, storage, and evapotranspiration (ET). Thus, quantifying feedbacks between changes in precipitation and vegetation at regional scales is a critical step toward predicting both carbon balance and water resources as climate and land cover change. We used a catchment-based approach to quantify partitioning of precipitation and compared these hydrologic fluxes to remotely sensed vegetation greenness (NDVI) in 86 U. S. catchments between 2000 and 2008. The fraction of precipitation potentially available to vegetation (catchment wetting; W) ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 demonstrating that up to 36% of precipitation was not available to vegetation. The ratio of ET: W (Horton Index (HI)), ranged from 0.07 to 1.0 demonstrating even greater variability in the fraction of catchment wetting used as ET. Negative slopes between annual Horton Index and maximum annual NDVI values indicated water limitation during dry years in most catchment ecosystems. Not surprisingly, grasslands were more sensitive to drying than forests. However, in nine of the wettest (HI < 0.66) catchment ecosystems, NDVI values increased as HI increased suggesting greater vegetation productivity under drier conditions. Our results demonstrate that catchment-scale hydrologic partitioning provides information on both the fractions of precipitation available to and used by vegetation. Their ratio (HI) identifies shifts between water and energy limitation, and differential sensitivity to drying based on vegetation type within catchment ecosystems. Consequently, catchment-scale partitioning provides useful information for scaling point observations and quantifying regional ecohydrological response to climate or vegetation change.
- Chorover, J., Troch, P. A., Rasmussen, C., Brooks, P. D., Pelletier, J. D., Breshears, D. D., Huxman, T. E., Kurc, S. A., Lohse, K. A., McIntosh, J. C., Meixner, T., Schaap, M. G., Litvak, M. E., Perdrial, J., Harpold, A., & Durcik, M. (2011). How Water, Carbon, and Energy Drive Critical Zone Evolution: The Jemez-Santa Catalina Critical Zone Observatory. VADOSE ZONE JOURNAL, 10(3), 884-899.More infoThe structure of the critical zone (CZ) is a result of tectonic, lithogenic, and climatic forcings that shape the landscape across geologic time scales. The CZ structure can be probed to measure contemporary rates of regolith production and hillslope evolution, and its fluids and solids can be sampled to determine how structure affects CZ function as a living filter for hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles. Substantial uncertainty remains regarding how variability in climate and lithology influence CZ structure and function across both short (e. g., hydrologic event) and long (e. g., landscape evolution) time scales. We are addressing this issue using a theoretical framework that quantifies system inputs in terms of environmental energy and mass transfer (EEMT, MJ m(-2) yr(-1)) in the recently established Jemez River Basin (JRB)-Santa Catalina Mountains (SCM) Critical Zone Observatory (CZO). We postulate that C and water fluxes, as embodied in EEMT, drive CZ evolution and that quantifying system inputs in this way leads to predictions of nonlinear and threshold effects in CZ structure formation. We are testing this hypothesis in the JRB-SCM CZO, which comprises a pair of observatories-in northern New Mexico within the Rio Grande basin (JRB) and in southern Arizona within the Colorado River basin (SCM). The JRB-SCM CZO spans gradients in climate, lithology, and biota representative of much variation found in the larger U. S Southwest. Our approach includes in situ monitoring of zero-order basins nested within larger CZO watersheds and measurement-modeling iterations. The initial data collected at the ecosystem, pedon, and catchment scales indicates a strong role of coupled C and water flux in regulating chemical denudation of catchments in the JRB site.
- Guardiola-Clararnonte, M., Troch, P. A., Breshears, D. D., Huxman, T. E., Switanek, M. B., Durcik, M., & Cobb, N. S. (2011). Decreased streamflow in semi-arid basins following drought-induced tree die-off: A counter-intuitive and indirect climate impact on hydrology. JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, 406(3-4), 225-233.More infoDrought- and infestation-related tree die-off is occurring at regional scales and is projected to increase with global climate change. These large-scale changes in vegetation are expected to influence hydrological responses, but the ecohydrological consequences of die-off have rarely been studied empirically and consequently remain uncertain. Here we evaluate observed hydrologic responses to recent regional-scale die-off of pinon pine (Pinus edulis) in Southwestern USA. Basins with the most tree die-off showed a significant decrease in streamflow over several years following die-off, and this decrease was not attributable to climate variability alone. The results are counterintuitive compared to responses to reductions in tree cover by harvest that have shown an increase in streamflow, although such increases are more substantial for locations with higher precipitation than where the pinon pine die-off occurred. We are unable to isolate the cause of the increase, but note that it is consistent with a reported increase in understory herbaceous cover post-die-off and associated increase in solar radiation reaching near-ground (below the tree canopy overstory), which together would be expected to reduce overland flow. Our study highlights the need to more fully evaluate hydrological responses to drought-induced tree die-off empirically, in addition to modelling studies. More generally, the result illustrate potential indirect effects of climate on hydrological responses mediated through ecohydrological changes in vegetation, which will need to be considered in future water resources assessments. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V.. All rights reserved.
- Voepel, H., Ruddell, B., Schumer, R., Troch, P. A., Brooks, P. D., Neal, A., Durcik, M., & Sivapalan, M. (2011). Quantifying the role of climate and landscape characteristics on hydrologic partitioning and vegetation response. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, 47.More infoThere is no consensus on how changes in both temperature and precipitation will affect regional vegetation. We investigated controls on hydrologic partitioning at the catchment scale across many different ecoregions, and compared the resulting estimates of catchment wetting and vaporization (evapotranspiration) to remotely sensed indices of vegetation greenness. The fraction of catchment wetting vaporized by plants, known as the Horton index, is strongly related to the ratio of available energy to available water at the Earth's surface, the aridity index. Here we show that the Horton index is also a function of catchment mean slope and elevation, and is thus related to landscape characteristics that control how much and how long water is retained in a catchment. We compared the power of the components of the water and energy balance, as well as landscape characteristics, to predict Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a surrogate for vegetation productivity, at 312 Model Parameter Estimation Experiment (MOPEX) catchments across the United States. Statistical analysis revealed that the Horton index provides more precision in predicting maximum annual NDVI for all catchments than mean annual precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, or their ratio, the aridity index. Models of vegetation productivity should emphasize plant-available water, rather than just precipitation, by incorporating the interaction of climate and landscape. Major findings related to the Horton index are: (1) it is a catchment signature that is relatively constant from year-to-year; (2) it is related to specific landscape characteristics; (3) it can be used to create catchment typologies; and (4) it is related to overall catchment greenness.
- Guardiola-Claramonte, M., Troch, P. A., Ziegler, A. D., Giambelluca, T. W., Durcik, M., Vogler, J. B., & Nullet, M. A. (2010). Hydrologic effects of the expansion of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) in a tropical catchment. ECOHYDROLOGY, 3(3), 306-314.More infoThis study investigates basin-scale hydrologic implications of the replacement of forest-dominated land cover by rubber plantations in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia. The paper presents a new method for estimating the water demand of rubber and consequently water losses to the atmosphere through rubber evapotranspiration (ET). In this paper we argue that rubber ET is energy-limited during the wet season, but during the dry season water consumption is mostly governed by environmental variables that directly affect rubber phenology, namely, vapour pressure deficit, temperature and photoperiodicity. The proposed ET model is introduced into a hillslope-based hydrologic model to predict the basin-scale hydrologic consequences of rubber replacing native vegetation. Simulations suggest greater annual catchment water losses through ET from rubber dominated landscapes compared to traditional vegetation cover. This additional water use reduces discharge from the basin, or its storage. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Hurkmans, R., Troch, P. A., Uijlenhoet, R., Torfs, P., & Durcik, M. (2009). Effects of Climate Variability on Water Storage in the Colorado River Basin. JOURNAL OF HYDROMETEOROLOGY, 10(5), 1257-1270.More infoUnderstanding the long-term (interannual-decadal) variability of water availability in river basins is paramount for water resources management. Here, the authors analyze time series of simulated terrestrial water storage components, observed precipitation, and discharge spanning 74 yr in the Colorado River basin and relate them to climate indices that describe variability of sea surface temperature and sea level pressure in the tropical and extratropical Pacific. El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indices in winter [January-March (JFM)] are related to winter precipitation as well as to soil moisture and discharge in the lower Colorado River basin. The low-frequency mode of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) appears to be strongly correlated with deep soil moisture. During the negative PDO phase, saturated storage anomalies tend to be negative and the "amplitudes'' (mean absolute anomalies) of shallow soil moisture, snow, and discharge are slightly lower compared to periods of positive PDO phases. Predicting interannual variability, therefore, strongly depends on the capability of predicting PDO regime shifts. If indeed a shift to a cool PDO phase occurred in the mid-1990s, as data suggest, the current dry conditions in the Colorado River basin may persist.
- Troch, P. A., Martinez, G. F., Pauwels, V. R., Durcik, M., Sivapalan, M., Harman, C., Brooks, P. D., Gupta, H., & Huxman, T. (2009). Climate and vegetation water use efficiency at catchment scales. HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES.
- Troch, P., Durcik, M., Seneviratne, S., Hirschi, M., Teuling, A., Hurkmans, R., & Hasan, S. (2007). New data sets to estimate terrestrial water storage change. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 88(45), 469--470.
- Karimi, H., Durcik, M., & Rasdorf, W. (2004). Evaluation of uncertainties associated with geocoding techniques. COMPUTER-AIDED CIVIL AND INFRASTRUCTURE ENGINEERING, 19(3), 170-185.More infoSpatial databases contain geocoded data. Geocoded data play a major role in numerous engineering applications such as transportation and environmental studies where geospatial information systems (GIS) are used for spatial modeling and analysis as they contain spatial information (e.g., latitude and longitude) about objects. The information that a GIS produces is impacted by the quality of the geocoded data (e.g., coordinates) stored in its database. To make appropriate and reasonable decisions using geocoded data, it is important to understand the sources of uncertainty in geocoding. There are two major sources of uncertainty in geocoding, one related to the database that is used as a reference data set to geocode objects and one related to the interpolation technique used. Factors such as completeness, correctness, consistency, currency, and accuracy of the data in the reference database contribute to the uncertainty of the former whereas the specific logic and assumptions used in an interpolation technique contribute to the latter. The primary purpose of this article is to understand uncertainties associated with interpolation techniques used for geocoding. In doing so, three geocoding algorithms were used and tested and the results were compared with the data collected by the Global Positioning System (GPS). The result of the overall comparison indicated no significant differences between the three algorithms.
- Vallova, B., Kovacikova, Z., Durcik, M., Vicanova, M., Tatrai, E., & Dusinska, M. (1999). DNA damage in lung cells after radon exposure detected by the comet assay. NEOPLASMA, 46, 83-84.More infoThe comet assay was applied to measure DNA breaks and oxidised bases in freshly isolated alveolar macrophages and epithelial type II cells from the rat lung. The cells were exposed to radon for 60 min. Radon exposure was estimated at 1.25-2.45 MBq.h.m(-3). Strand breaks were significantly elevated above the background level after irradiation of epithelial type II cells. In contrast, no strand breaks were induced in alveolar macrophages, but a high level of oxidised bases, mostly purines, was found. Alveolar macrophages and epithelial type II cells freshly isolated from the rat lung provide an exceptionally suitable cell model for investigation of potential hazards of air-borne environmental contaminants.
- Durcik, M., Havlik, F., Vicanova, M., & Nikodemova, D. (1997). Radon risk assessment in Slovak kindergartens and basic schools. RADIATION PROTECTION DOSIMETRY, 71(3), 201-206.More infoThe results are presented of long-term measurements obtained during the radon survey in the schools of the Slovak Republic. Measurements of equilibrium equivalent radon concentrations (EER) were performed in 645 buildings. It was found that the action level of EER was exceeded in 16 schools. Consequently short-term radon measurements were instituted in a kindergarten in Roznava-Cucma, where the highest level of EER was measured. The analysis of the results contains the comparison of the long- and short-term measurements, the influence of the spring and summertime, the daily radon variations and the radon source localisation. From the results obtained the annual effective doses from radon exposure, estimated for pupils and teachers in the kindergarten, were 7 mSv and 10.5 mSv, respectively. It is concluded that the real values of annual effective doses, estimated for pupils and teachers in schools are about 5 times lower than doses estimated from the results of integral long-term measurements due to the ventilation regime.
- Durcik, M., & Havlik, F. (1996). Experimental study of radon and thoron diffusion through barriers. JOURNAL OF RADIOANALYTICAL AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY-ARTICLES, 209(2), 307-313.More infoThe radon chamber and radon calibration set have been modified for investigation of the diffusion coefficients of the barriers for reduction of radon exposure in the dwellings and for application as filters to separate radon and thoron. The volume radon activities have been measured by continuous monitors with scintillation cell or ionisation chamber, The theory on which the experimental determination of a barrier diffusion coefficient is based, is presented. The diffusion ability of radon has been studied for different materials and the results of the measurements are presented and discussed.
- Durcik, M., Troch, P., & Gupta, H. (2009). Colorado River near Real-Time TWS Dynamics: Application of the SAHRA Geodatabase. In The 2009 Ground Water Summit—Adapting to Increasing Demands in a Changing Climate, April 19-23, Tucson, AZ, USA.
- SYKORA, I., DURCIK, M., STANICEK, J., & POVINEC, P. (1992, May). RADON PROBLEM IN LOW-LEVEL GAMMA-RAY SPECTROMETRY. In RARE NUCLEAR PROCESSES, 321-326.
- Arevalo Borquez, J. A., Zeng, X., Troch, P. A., & Durcik, M. (2019, January). Monitoring and Understanding the Atmosphere in an Enclosed Environment. 99th AMS Annual Meeting. Phoenix, AZ.
- Valdes, J. B., Demaria, E. M., Wi, S., Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Valdes, R., & Durcik, M. (2016, December). Evaluating the performance of real-time streamflow forecasting using multi-satellite precipitation products in the Upper Zambezi, Africa. 2016 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract GC44A-06. San Francisco.More infoIn under-instrumented basins around the world, accurate and timely forecasts of river streamflows have the potential of assisting water and natural resource managers in their management decisions. The Upper Zambezi river basin is the largest basin in southern Africa and its water resources are critical to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in eight riparian countries. We present a real-time streamflow forecast for the basin using a multi-model-multi-satellite approach that allows accounting for model and input uncertainties. Three distributed hydrologic models with different levels of complexity: VIC, HYMOD_DS, and HBV_DS are setup at a daily time step and a 0.25 degree spatial resolution for the basin. The hydrologic models are calibrated against daily observed streamflows at the Katima-Mulilo station using a Genetic Algorithm. Three real-time satellite products: Climate Prediction Center’s morphing technique (CMORPH), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN), and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM-3B42RT) are bias-corrected with daily CHIRPS estimates. Uncertainty bounds for predicted flows are estimated with the Inverse Variance Weighting method. Because concentration times in the basin range from a few days to more than a week, we include the use of precipitation forecasts from the Global Forecasting System (GFS) to predict daily streamflows in the basin with a 10-days lead time. The skill of GFS-predicted streamflows is evaluated and the usefulness of the forecasts for short term water allocations is presented.
- Valdes, J. B., Wi, S., Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Demaria, E., & Durcik, M. (2015, December). A Satellite Driven Real-time Forecasting Platform in the Upper Zambezi Basin: A Multi-model Comparison. 2015 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract H23L-07. San Francisco.
- Serrat-Capdevila, A., Valdes, J., Valdes, R., Demaria, E., Durcik, M., Maitaria, K., & Roy, T. (2013, December). A Multi-Model Real Time Forecasting Prototype System in the Mara Basin (Kenya/Tanzania). 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract H12A-05. San Francisco, CA.
- Durcik, M. (2011, June). Jemez-Catalina CZO Data Management System and its Integration. CUAHSI Conference on Hydrologic Data and Information Systems. Logan, Utah.
- Wi, S., Dominguez, F., Durcik, M., Valdes, J., & Diaz, H. (2010, December). Climate Change Projections using Dynamical Downscaling for the Colorado River Basin. 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract GC43F-1023. San Francisco, CA.
- Roy, T., Valdes, J. B., Lyon, B., Demaria, E. M., Valdes, R., Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Durcik, M., & Gupta, H. V. (2017, December). Short-term climate change impacts on Mara basin hydrology. 2017 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract H51J-1395. New Orleans.More infoThe predictability of climate diminishes significantly at shorter time scales (e.g. decadal). Both natural variability as well as sampling variability of climate can obscure or enhance climate change signals in these shorter scales. Therefore, in order to assess the impacts of climate change on basin hydrology, it is important to design climate projections with exhaustive climate scenarios. In this study, we first create seasonal climate scenarios by combining (1) synthetic precipitation projections generated from a Vector Auto-Regressive (VAR) model using the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (UEA-CRU) data with (2) seasonal trends calculated from 31 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP). The seasonal climate projections are then disaggregated to daily level using the Agricultural Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (AgMERRA) data. The daily climate data are then bias-corrected and used as forcings to the land-surface model, Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC), to generate different hydrological projections for the Mara River basin in East Africa, which are then evaluated to study the hydrologic changes in the basin in the next three decades (2020-2050).
- Troch, P. A., Dwivedi, R., Liu, T., Alves Meira Neto, A., Roy, T., Valdes, R., Durcik, M., Arciniega, S. S., & Brena-Naranjo, J. A. (2017, December). Catchment-scale groundwater recharge and vegetation water use efficiency. 2017 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract H51B-1260. New Orleans.More infoPrecipitation undergoes a two-step partitioning when it falls on the land surface. At the land surface and in the shallow subsurface, rainfall or snowmelt can either runoff as infiltration/saturation excess or quick subsurface flow. The rest will be stored temporarily in the root zone. From the root zone, water can leave the catchment as evapotranspiration or percolate further and recharge deep storage (e.g. fractured bedrock aquifer). Quantifying the average amount of water that recharges deep storage and sustains low flows is extremely challenging, as we lack reliable methods to quantify this flux at the catchment scale. It was recently shown, however, that for semi-arid catchments in Mexico, an index of vegetation water use efficiency, i.e. the Horton index (HI), could predict deep storage dynamics. Here we test this finding using 247 MOPEX catchments across the conterminous US, including energy-limited catchments. Our results show that the observed HI is indeed a reliable predictor of deep storage dynamics in space and time. We further investigate whether the HI can also predict average recharge rates across the conterminous US. We find that the HI can reliably predict the average recharge rate, estimated from the 50th percentile flow of the flow duration curve. Our results compare favorably with estimates of average recharge rates from the US Geological Survey. Previous research has shown that HI can be reliably estimated based on aridity index, mean slope and mean elevation of a catchment (Voepel et al., 2011). We recalibrated Voepel’s model and used it to predict the HI for our 247 catchments. We then used these predicted values of the HI to estimate average recharge rates for our catchments, and compared them with those estimated from observed HI. We find that the accuracies of our predictions based on observed and predicted HI are similar. This provides an estimation method of catchment-scale average recharge rates based on easily derived catchment characteristics, such as climate and topography, and free of discharge measurements.
- Volkmann, T. H., Sengupta, A., Pangle, L. A., Abramson, N., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Breshears, D. D., Bugaj, A., Chorover, J. D., Dontsova, K. M., Durcik, M., Ferre, P. A., Harman, C. J., Hunt, E. A., Kim, M., Maier, R. M., Matos, K. A., Alves Meira Neto, A., Meredith, L., Monson, R. K., , Niu, G., et al. (2017, December). Controlled Experiments of Hillslope Co-evolution at the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory: Toward Prediction of Coupled Hydrological, Biogeochemical, and Ecological change. 2017 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract B43A-2105. New Orleans, LA: American Geophysical Union (AGU).More infoUnderstanding the process interactions and feedbacks among water, microbes, plants, and porous geological media is crucial for improving predictions of the response of Earth’s critical zone to future climatic conditions. However, the integrated co-evolution of landscapes under change is notoriously difficult to investigate. Laboratory studies are typically limited in spatial and temporal scale, while field studies lack observational density and control. To bridge the gap between controlled lab and uncontrolled field studies, the University of Arizona – Biosphere 2 built a macrocosm experiment of unprecedented scale: the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO). LEO consists of three replicated, 330-m2 hillslope landscapes inside a 5000-m2 environmentally controlled facility. The engineered landscapes contain 1-m depth of basaltic tephra ground to homogenous loamy sand that will undergo physical, chemical, and mineralogical changes over many years. Each landscape contains a dense sensor network capable of resolving water, carbon, and energy cycling processes at sub-meter to whole-landscape scale. Embedded sampling devices allow for quantification of biogeochemical processes, and facilitate the use of chemical tracers applied with the artificial rainfall. LEO is now fully operational and intensive forcing experiments have been launched. While operating the massive infrastructure poses significant challenges, LEO has demonstrated the capacity of tracking multi-scale matter and energy fluxes at a level of detail impossible in field experiments. Initial sensor, sampler, and restricted soil coring data are already providing insights into the tight linkages between water flow, weathering, and (micro-) biological community development during incipient landscape evolution. Over the years to come, these interacting processes are anticipated to drive the model systems to increasingly complex states, potentially perturbed by changes in climatic forcing. By intensively monitoring the evolutionary trajectory, integrating data with models, and fostering community-wide collaborations, we envision that emergent landscape structures and functions can be linked and significant progress can be made toward predicting the coupled hydro-biogeochemical and ecological responses to global change.
- Serrat-Capdevila, A. -., Fonseca, C., Valdes, J. B., Durcik, M., & Mithieu, F. (2015, December). Characterizing Decision-Making for Earth Observation Applications in Water Management. 2015 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract PA31A-2146. San Francisco.
- Fang, Y., Niu, G., Troch, P., Paniconi, C., Durcik, M., & Chorover, J. (2014, Dec 15-19). Accessing Topographic Effects on Solar Radiation Distribution and Ecohydrological Processes. 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract H51D-0642. San Francisco, CA.
- Whitenack, T., Williams, M., Tarboton, D., Zaslavsky, I., Durcik, M., Lucas, R., Dow, C., Meng, X., Bills, B., Leon, M., & others, . (2010, December). Development of an integrated information system for Critical Zone Observatory data. 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract IN31B-1289. San Francisco, CA.
- Durcik, M., Troch, P., & Gupta, H. (2009, December). Colorado River Basin Terrestrial Water Storage Dynamics and Vegetation Response. 2009 AGU Fall Meeting, Abstract H21A-0824. San Francisco, CA.
- Guardiola-Claramonte, M., Troch, P. A., Breshears, D. D., Huxman, T. E., Switanek, M. B., Durcik, M., & Cobb, N. S. (2012, JAN 11). Decreased streamflow in semi-arid basins following drought-induced tree die-off: A counter-intuitive and indirect climate impact on hydrology (vol 406, pg 225, 2011). JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY.