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About Me

I am a Ph.D. and my research stands in the intersection of Earth Science interdisciplinary.

My ultimate goal is trying to understand how our nature works, especially under the changing climate. Without understanding our nature, we cannot appreciate how important it is to protect our only home-Earth.

In my opinion, science communication is very important and has always been understated. If I cannot explain my work to my wife, I cannot expect our public community to understand as well.

We all know it is not easy to understand nature, that is why we explore various ways to improve.

In a word, most of the articles I post here are related but not limited to Earth Science. These topics may cover:
  • Carbon cycle
  • Ecosystem
  • GIS
  • Hydrology (groundwater and surface water)
  • High Performance Computing
  • Permafrost
  • Programming
  • Remote Sensing
  • Snow dynamics
  • ...
All the posts will be original and are actual reflections of my research and potential publications. While publications do not always tell the good story given limited resources and editors' preferences, it can be very difficult for audiences to fully understand a good research. That is why I am here to close the gap, a behind scene illustration of how science is actually done.

When I am not doing research, I do lots of activities including (on a scale from 1-10 for favorites)
  • basketball (9)
  • BBQ (if it counts) (8)
  • camping (8)
  • fishing (7)
  • hiking (7) 
  • kayaking (7)
  • swimming (8)
  • watching games (5)
  • ...
I am also active in several social networks including Twitter (@changliao1025).
Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Popular posts from this blog

Numerical simulation: ode/pde solver and spin-up

For Earth Science model development, I inevitably have to deal with ODE and PDE equations. I also have come across some discussion related to this topic, i.e.,

In an attempt to answer this question, as well as redefine the problem I am dealing with, I decided to organize some materials to illustrate our current state on this topic.

Models are essentially equations. In Earth Science, these equations are usually ODE or PDE. So I want to discuss this from a mathematical perspective.

Ideally, we want to solve these ODE/PDE with initial condition (IC) and boundary condition (BC) using various numerical methods.

Because of the nature of geology, everything is similar to its neighbors. So we can construct a system of equations which may have multiple equation for each single grid cell. Now we have an array of equation…

A modern way of automate calibration of a hydrologic model

Calibration of hydrologic model can be tedious, that is why we spent great efforts to automate this process. And sometimes we need some tool that is universal, reusable, so that we don't have to re-invent the wheel again and again.

Today I want to introduce a very effective framework to conduct a hydrologic model calibration. I call it framework because you can apply this method to any model and use any of your preferred language in some steps.

Here is the framework:
Let me explain what is going on:
PEST generate new parameter file based on a simple template;PEST call Python interface to start model simulation;Python interface translates parameter file to model input files;Python interface launches SWAT simulation;Python interface extracts results; andPEST analyzes result and updates parameters.
A few highlights here:
This is an example for a SWAT model, and you can change it to any model you are calibrating;I used Python, but you can also use any other language such as C/C++ or eve…

Surface water hydrology modeling: deal with different types of precipitation

In surface water hydrology, precipitation is one of the most important components.
However, withing most hydrology models, it is unclear of how precipitation is actually represented.
For example, in a typical water cycle illustration from Wiki, precipitation is described as
Here is the question, what form does precipitation actually take when it falls to land surface? Water can be in either liquid (water, rain), solid(ice, snow) or gas(water vapor) forms. How about precipitation? Surely most of time precipitation is either rain of snow. In some cases, it takes form in hail, etc.
Since the physical proprieties of water and snow are significantly different, it is necessary to distinguish them within surface water hydrology models. In some scenarios, rain and snow may co-exist in a mixed precipitation event. In this case, surface water hydrology models need to deal with both of them. The difficulty is how to manage the two-phase mass and energy balance. A complete comparison of how differ…