What is HydroFrame?

HydroFrame is a platform to facilitate easy interaction with large computationally intensive hydrologic models and massive simulated outputs.

Our tools enable users to subset model inputs and outputs for any watershed in the US, run their own simulations, and visualize and analyze existing model outputs or newly generated results.

We also develop free interactive educational tools and lesson plans to teach students of all ages about groundwater and the hydrologic cycle.

This is our Beta Release so if you don’t find what you are looking for please keep reading and come back and check us out again soon!


Why HydroFrame?

Hydrologic simulations have advanced greatly in recent years. We now have models spanning the entire US that capture groundwater, surface water and plant processes at high (1km) spatial resolution. Despite these developments the community of people who use and develop national models remains small due to multiple barriers to entry:

  • Developing hydrologic input datasets and validating the behavior of national models is challenging and our current platforms have taken years to develop
  • The computer models that we use can be difficult for new users to pick up without some training and computer science background
  • National simulations rely on high performance computing and generate very large outputs that can be difficult to manage

HydroFrame seeks to remove these barriers. We build tools to make existing national models community resources that anyone can interact with.


Who should use HydroFrame?

Everyone! If you are reading this we hope that you will find something useful to you here. When it is complete we envision a range of users from hydrologists who may want to run and develop their own models or use our outputs for their own scientific analysis, to educators looking for lesson plans and interactive activities on hydrology, to policy makers and planners who may be interested in projections and watershed specific outputs from our simulations.


What will I be able to do?

We are still under construction, but when it is complete HydroFrame will allow users to:

  1. Explore the large simulation outputs that have already been generated – create your own custom visualizations and perform analysis before downloading what you need
  2. Build your own watershed model – grab our model inputs and run scripts to build your own watershed model starting from our framework
  3. Launch simulations – use our docker containers and run scripts to help you get started running parallel simulations
  4. Teach others about the hydrologic cycle and how groundwater works

What can I do now?

This is just the beginning of our project and we are currently releasing a beta version with a single workflow for testing. Right now you can:

  1. Subset all of the inputs from our national model – This includes subsurface data, topography, and land cover
  2. Automatically generate your own model domain with these inputs and a run script
  3. Do a small runoff test of this domain and plot your outputs without

Coming soon!

Our beta release is just the beginning. Please come back and check us out again. In the coming year we will be rolling out our next version which will support:

  1. Model options for model subsetting including groundwater simulations
  2. A larger set of model outputs
  3. Options for launching more extensive groundwater and surface water simulations
  4. Ability to modify model inputs and customize your watershed simulation to your needs
  5. More flexible analysis and visualization

What model are you using?

Our results are generated using the integrated hydrologic model ParFlow-CLM. We call it an ‘integrated’ hydrologic model because it is simulating groundwater and surface water processes at the same time along with land surface processes like plant water use and snow. Our model is unique from many other hydrologic models because we are directly simulating infiltration and lateral flow in the subsurface so we can capture connections between groundwater, streams and wetlands. There is a LOT more we could say about this. If you are interested in learning more about ParFlow-CLM and integrated modeling you can learn more here.