Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


The Carmel River supplies fresh water to the residents of the Monterey Peninsula within the water district served by the California American Water company. Existing software in the Tarsier Environmental Modeling Framework was used to model the spatial distribution of surface water along the Carmel River. The model simulated the flow of water downstream from catchment to the Pacific Ocean. The river channel was represented by a network data set comprised of links, representing individual reaches of the river, connected by nodes. Systematic error in the model was thought to be partially the result of the model lacking a simulation of the interactions between the surface water and the underlying aquifer. A groundwater sub-model was developed to correct for the systematic error. The groundwater sub-model simulated the movement of water between the river channel and the aquifer. Stock variables representing a shallow and deep aquifer were added to each link of the network data set. Simulated water in the surface water stock of each link percolates to these aquifer stocks until the groundwater reaches aquifer capacity, allowing surface water to continue flowing downstream. The model also allows the lateral flow of groundwater according to Darcy’s Law. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of model output compared to observed data showed an increase in model accuracy. Quantitatively, an NSC improved from 0.88 to 0.97 with the addition of the groundwater model. Qualitatively, a visualization of the longitudinal profile of the river system showed the simulated aquifer controlling the surface flow.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Division of Science and Environmental Policy