Integrated hydrologic modeling at the continental scale; scientific advances and research needs
Laura Condon, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Connections between groundwater depth, surface runoff and plant water use are well established. Still, much of the work to explore these connections has been completed on the catchment scale, and groundwater-surface water interactions are largely excluded or greatly simplified in continental and global modeling efforts. This is an identified research gap, as increasingly studies are finding that groundwater representations are needed to correctly capture low frequency variability and extreme events in large models. High-resolution physically based groundwater-surface water simulations are now feasible at the national scale due to computational and modeling advances. These tools have facilitated novel quantifications of groundwater-surface water interactions and the contribution of lateral groundwater flow to watershed systems. Still, significant challenges remain in the application and transparency of these large and computationally intensive tools. Here I will present work to develop an integrated hydrologic modeling platform of the US, including scientific findings with the model so far and the path forward to advance these tools further and develop community resources.
Dr. Condon researches water sustainability and the dynamics of hydrologic systems in the context of past development and future climate change. Her work combines physically based numerical modeling with statistical techniques to evaluate complex system behavior.
She received her graduate degrees from the Colorado School of Mines and was an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University before joining the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona in 2018. In addition to her research, Dr. Condon also worked in environmental consulting and for the Bureau of Reclamation primarily studying long-term water availability issues in the Western US.