WRF-Hydro® Community Spotlight | Dr. Marcelo Somos-Valenzuela


This Community Spotlight focuses on Dr. Marcelo Somos-Valenzuela. Marcelo is an Assistant Professor at the Universidad De La Frontera with a demonstrated history of working on projects related to adaptation to climate change in diverse regions such as the Himalayas in Nepal, the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, Contiguous United States, and Patagonia in Chile. His areas of expertise are hydro-climatology with an emphasis in field observations and regional modeling, water resource management, social vulnerability and climate change. During the 'pandemic' he has taken time to learn how to bake and is, for the most part, enjoying the results of his experiments. 

Below is a Q&A with Marcelo about his background, current research, and experience with using WRF-Hydro®

Understanding how different pieces of a system work and interact in a model provide the opportunity to learn through experimentation.

Q: What initially excited you about modeling as your chosen area of study?
 My general interest has always been the hydrological cycle. So understanding how the different pieces of the system work and interact in a model provide the opportunity to learn through experimentation. Also, I have been fortunate to participate in projects that seek to provide information for adaptation to natural disasters, climate change, and social vulnerability in developing countries as well as the US. Therefore, modeling became an excellent tool for me to explore solutions to different problems in particular, where data is not available.

Q: How did you first come to find out about the WRF-Hydro modeling system?
 It was in the presentation that Dr. Gochis gave in a meeting for the National Flood Interoperability experiment back in 2014. At that time, I was working as a PostDoc with Dr. David Maidment at the University of Texas. Then we used WRF-hydro streamflow results for the NFIE retreat in the water center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, during summer 2015. So I got to know what the WRF-hydro was about and took the training at NCAR twice to learn how to use it.

Q: What is your current research project focusing on?
 I am working on different projects. The first one explores the impacts of climate change in snow and glaciers in the Chilean Patagonia. The second is a collaboration with a Chinese institution where we seek to understand mudflows' chain of events triggered by hydro climatological events. Then, I am working in a forecast system using WRF-Hydro for streamflow predictions.

Q: What aspects of the WRF-Hydro modeling system made it most suitable for your research/ project needs?
 Since I started learning WRF-hydro, the documentation available and the development of tools have immensely increased, which makes it easier to keep track of the new progress as well as to train students to use it. Also, there is always a new application or improvement that can be used. For example, now I am working with WRF-hydro Glac to simulate glacier hydrology in the Chilean Patagonia.

For more information about Marcelo's activities follow him on Twitter @MarceloSomos

Recent publications by Marcelo are:

Somos-Valenzuela, Marcelo, Palmer, R. N. Use of WRF-Hydro over the Northeast of the US to Estimate Water Budget Tendencies in Small Watersheds. Water 2018, 10, 1–17, https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/10/12/1709.

Lin, Peirong; Zong-Liang Yang, David J. Gochis, Wei Yu, David R. Maidment, Marcelo A. Somos-Valenzuela, Cédric H. David. Implementation of a vector-based river network routing scheme in the community WRF-Hydro modeling framework for flood discharge simulation. Environmental Modelling & Software. (2018). 107, 1-11, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.05.018

Lin, P.; M. A. Rajib, Z. Yang, M. Somos-Valenzuela, V. Merwade, D. R. Maidment, et al. (2017). Spatiotemporal Evaluation of Simulated Evapotranspiration and Streamflow over Texas using the WRF-Hydro-RAPID Modeling Framework. JAWRA, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12585

Salas, F. R., M. Somos-Valenzuela, A. Dugger, D. R. Maidment, D. J. Gochis, C. H. David, et al. (2017). Towards Real-Time Continental Scale Streamflow Simulation in Continuous and Discrete Space. JAWRA. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12586

*To nominate a person or a project to be showcased on the WRF-Hydro Community Spotlight please email mollymca@ucar.edu.*