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Soil Saturation

Soil Saturation

Short Description

A comparison of the current model output of the water content in the top-layer soils at model initialization time to the maximum storage capacity of those top-layer soils.


CREST and SAC-SMA.  The FLASH EF5 framework runs multiple hydrological models using a common input.  For MRMS Version 12, there is a soil saturation product for the 2 models listed above.

Primary Users


Input Sources

MRMS Radar-Only QPE


Spatial:  ~1 km x 1 km

Temporal:  10 minutes

Product Creation

The FLASH EF5 model framework uses MRMS Radar-Only QPE as input into the 2 hydrological models (CREST and SAC-SMA) which then use a subset of these hydrological principles (infiltration, storage, interflow, evapotranspiration, and runoff) to route the precipitation through the basins.  The amount of modeled water content in the top-layer soils at model initialization time for each grid point is compared to the maximum storage capacity of those top-layer soils in each grid point.  The result is a percentage value of maximum storage capacity.

Technical Details

Latest Update: MRMS Version 12

NOTE: In version 12, all FLASH products now use the instantaneous rainfall rates from the Dual-pol radar synthetic QPE product.

Accessible on:

  1. Operational AWIPS
    1. V11.5 -- MRMS menu
    2. V12 -- via LDM, if set-up
  2. MRMS Development site


Gourley, J., Z. Flamig, H. Vergara, P. Kirstetter, R. Clark III, E. Argyle, A. Arthur, S. Martinaitis, G. Terti, J. Erlingis, Y. Hong, and K. Howard, 2016: The Flooded Locations And Simulated Hydrographs (FLASH) project: improving the tools for flash flood monitoring and prediction across the United States. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00247.1, in press.

Jiahu Wang , Yang Hong , Li Li , Jonathan J. Gourley , Sadiq I. Khan , Koray K. Yilmaz , Robert F. Adler , Frederick S. Policelli , Shahid Habib , Daniel Irwn , Ashutosh S. Limaye , Tesfaye Korme & Lawrence Okello (2011) The coupled routing and excess storage (CREST) distributed hydrological model, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56:1, 84-98, DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2010.543087