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Techniques and Methods 6–B7

PRMS-IV, the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System, Version 4

By Steven L. Markstrom, R. Steven Regan, Lauren E. Hay, Roland J. Viger, Richard M. T. Webb, Robert A. Payn, and Jacob H. LaFontaine

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (6.75 MB)Abstract

Computer models that simulate the hydrologic cycle at a watershed scale facilitate assessment of variability in climate, biota, geology, and human activities on water availability and flow. This report describes an updated version of the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System. The Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System is a deterministic, distributed-parameter, physical-process-based modeling system developed to evaluate the response of various combinations of climate and land use on streamflow and general watershed hydrology. Several new model components were developed, and all existing components were updated, to enhance performance and supportability. This report describes the history, application, concepts, organization, and mathematical formulation of the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System and its model components. This updated version provides improvements in (1) system flexibility for integrated science, (2) verification of conservation of water during simulation, (3) methods for spatial distribution of climate boundary conditions, and (4) methods for simulation of soil-water flow and storage.

First posted February 13, 2015

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Suggested citation:

Markstrom, S.L., Regan, R.S., Hay, L.E., Viger, R.J., Webb, R.M.T., Payn, R.A., and LaFontaine, J.H., 2015, PRMS-IV, the precipitation-runoff modeling system, version 4: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 6, chap. B7, 158 p.,

ISSN 2328-7055 (online)




Purpose and Scope

Concepts and Definitions




References Cited

Appendix 1. PRMS-IV Module Documentation

Appendix 2. PRMS-IV Users’ Guide

Appendix 3. PRMS-IV Merced River Example Application

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