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Techniques and Methods 6-D2

Groundwater Resources Program

CRT—Cascade Routing Tool to Define and Visualize Flow Paths for Grid-Based Watershed Models

By Wesley R. Henson, Rose L. Medina, C. Justin Mayers, Richard G. Niswonger, and R.S. Regan

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.5 MB) Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey Cascade Routing Tool (CRT) is a computer application for watershed models that include the coupled Groundwater and Surface-water FLOW model, GSFLOW, and the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). CRT generates output to define cascading surface and shallow subsurface flow paths for grid-based model domains. CRT requires a land-surface elevation for each hydrologic response unit (HRU) of the model grid; these elevations can be derived from a Digital Elevation Model raster data set of the area containing the model domain. Additionally, a list is required of the HRUs containing streams, swales, lakes, and other cascade termination features along with indices that uniquely define these features. Cascade flow paths are determined from the altitudes of each HRU. Cascade paths can cross any of the four faces of an HRU to a stream or to a lake within or adjacent to an HRU. Cascades can terminate at a stream, lake, or HRU that has been designated as a watershed outflow location.

First posted March 25, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Nevada Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2730 N. Deer Run Road
Carson City, Nevada 89701

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Suggested citation:

Henson, W.R., Medina, R.L., Mayers, C.J., Niswonger, R.G., and Regan, R.S., 2013, CRT—Cascade Routing Tool to define and visualize flow paths for grid-based watershed models: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6-D2, 28 p.




Overview of Cascades

Implementation of Cascade Routing Tool

CRT Input

Installing and Running CRT

Output Files

Cascade Routing Visualization

Sample Applications


References Cited

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