Collaborative Research: Framework: Software: NSCI : Computational and data innovation implementing a national community hydrologic modeling framework for scientific discovery
Hydrologic Science studies the movement of water in the earth system. Continental scale simulation of this flow of water through rivers, streams and groundwater is an identified grand challenge in hydrology. Decades of model development, combined with advances in solver technology and software engineering have enabled large-scale, high-resolution simulations of the hydrologic cycle over the US, yet substantial technical and communication challenges remain. Two simulation platforms (ParFlow and WRF-Hydro) have met this Grand Challenge through the US National Water Model (NWM) and PF-CONUS. Already these tools are a valuable resource to the hydrologic community, providing simulated outputs across the many ungauged basins in the US and serving as sophisticated numerical testbeds that can be used to improve our understanding of how watersheds function. However, so far community interaction with these tools has been limited to the standard paradigm of static model outputs that are released for others to ingest. Interactions with the models themselves is generally limited to a small group of model developers with the specialized skills needed to implement these complex tools. The proposed project seeks to change this, developing a software framework to enable users varying computational backgrounds to work directly with the models to accelerate their own scientific study. To accomplish this goal, we bring together a team of computer scientists and hydrologists to advance the science behind these platforms, accelerate their capabilities and build novel interfaces for user interaction. The result will be unprecedented hydrologic simulation capacity through a national hydrologic modeling framework designed to foster interaction and provide easy to simulations for scientists, professionals and educators.