Brooks Range, April 2007, photo credit Andrew Roberts

InteRFACE is focused on understanding how watershed changes in Arctic hydrology will alter the magnitude and seasonality of river fluxes to the coast through the analysis of historical river flows, development of new tools for benchmarking rivers in ESMs, and using advanced permafrost-enabled integrated hydrological models to simulate major arctic watersheds.

­InteRFACE is working in close collaboration with the International Land Modelbenchmarking Project (ILAMB, to develop new metrics and capabilities to evaluate modeled river flows and assemble Arctic-focused datasets to support model evaluations. Analysis of these datasets both identifies both metrics and historical trends needed to test models.

Using the Advanced Terrestrial Simulator (ATS), a permafrost-enabled integrated hydrological model, InteRFACE is developing a multiscale model of the Sagavanirtok River watershed that will be coupled to the Model for Scale Adaptive River Transport (MOSART) river model used in the E3SM earth system model. This modeling will allow InteRFACE to both simulate Arctic hydrological processes at basin scales but to evaluate the effect of process representations, such as lateral flow and permafrost, on integrated watershed fluxes.

The Sagavanirtok River watershed in northern Alaska. MOSART routed discharge of the entire Sagavanirktok River, showing the network-based routing abilities and the workflow for handling the entire basin


RGMA Lead: Jon Schwenk – LANL
ESMD Lead: Ethan Coon – ORNL

Research Team

W Robert Bolton – UAF
Matt Cooper – PNNL
Bo Gao – ORNL
Jitu Kumar – ORNL
Katrina Bennett – LANL
Nibedita Sinha – UAF
Kurt Solander – LANL
Mary Szatkowski – UAF
Tian Zhou – PNNL

US Department of Energy

InteRFACE is a multi-institution project funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.