Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Continuous simulation for flood estimation in ungauged mesoscale catchments of Switzerland – Part I: modelling framework and calibration results


Viviroli, Daniel; Zappa, Massimiliano; Schwanbeck, Jan; Gurtz, Joachim; Weingartner, Rolf (2009). Continuous simulation for flood estimation in ungauged mesoscale catchments of Switzerland – Part I: modelling framework and calibration results. Journal of Hydrology, 377(1-2):191-207.

Abstract

With the aim of calibrating a large number of catchments for a semi-distributed, process-based conceptual hydrological model, we introduce a straightforward yet robust automatic calibration procedure. Since identification of a global parameter optimum is not feasible in practical terms, the procedure presents a trade-off between computational time and algorithm complexity to identify, with reasonable effort, a parameter set that is well representative of the catchment’s dynamics. In its standard mode, the calibration combines three efficiency scores which are evaluated both for the entire calibration period and in terms of their annual and monthly variations. These scores are furthermore assessed only in their relevant value range, producing a comprehensive overall acceptability score which is used to guide an iterative parameter search algorithm. An additional set of four flood-sensitive scores is added, thereby improving results in the peak-flow range. Calibration was done for 140 mesoscale (roughly 10–1000 km2) catchments in Switzerland, using the hydrological modelling system PREVAH (Precipitation–Runoff-EVApotranspiration-HRU related model) in hourly time steps. For 49 representative catchments with long gauge records, a median Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.75 was achieved for the calibration period in standard mode. The limited loss in efficiency when moving to the validation period (median NSE: 0.72) proves the stability and representativity of the parameter sets identified, while a Monte-Carlo analysis underscores the effectiveness of our procedure. The Nash–Sutcliffe efficiencies for the additional flood calibration are slightly lower, but again almost equally high for the calibration (0.69) and the validation (0.67) period. Despite the concessions made to improve peak-flow results, the simulation’s hydrological plausibility was not compromised. The ultimate goal of our study is flood estimation in ungauged Swiss catchments through continuous simulation using PREVAH. With the extensive calibration task presented in this article, the foundation is laid for regionalisation of the tuneable model parameters, which will be addressed in the companion paper (Viviroli et al., 2009a), along with detailed flood estimation results.

Abstract

With the aim of calibrating a large number of catchments for a semi-distributed, process-based conceptual hydrological model, we introduce a straightforward yet robust automatic calibration procedure. Since identification of a global parameter optimum is not feasible in practical terms, the procedure presents a trade-off between computational time and algorithm complexity to identify, with reasonable effort, a parameter set that is well representative of the catchment’s dynamics. In its standard mode, the calibration combines three efficiency scores which are evaluated both for the entire calibration period and in terms of their annual and monthly variations. These scores are furthermore assessed only in their relevant value range, producing a comprehensive overall acceptability score which is used to guide an iterative parameter search algorithm. An additional set of four flood-sensitive scores is added, thereby improving results in the peak-flow range. Calibration was done for 140 mesoscale (roughly 10–1000 km2) catchments in Switzerland, using the hydrological modelling system PREVAH (Precipitation–Runoff-EVApotranspiration-HRU related model) in hourly time steps. For 49 representative catchments with long gauge records, a median Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.75 was achieved for the calibration period in standard mode. The limited loss in efficiency when moving to the validation period (median NSE: 0.72) proves the stability and representativity of the parameter sets identified, while a Monte-Carlo analysis underscores the effectiveness of our procedure. The Nash–Sutcliffe efficiencies for the additional flood calibration are slightly lower, but again almost equally high for the calibration (0.69) and the validation (0.67) period. Despite the concessions made to improve peak-flow results, the simulation’s hydrological plausibility was not compromised. The ultimate goal of our study is flood estimation in ungauged Swiss catchments through continuous simulation using PREVAH. With the extensive calibration task presented in this article, the foundation is laid for regionalisation of the tuneable model parameters, which will be addressed in the companion paper (Viviroli et al., 2009a), along with detailed flood estimation results.

Statistics

Citations

41 citations in Web of Science®
49 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 18 Mar 2015
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:18 Mar 2015 08:35
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:11
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-1694
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.08.023

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 2MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations