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Effect of observation errors on the timing of the most informative isotope samples for event-based model calibration


Wang, Ling; van Meerveld, H J; Seibert, Jan (2018). Effect of observation errors on the timing of the most informative isotope samples for event-based model calibration. Hydrology, 5(1):4.

Abstract

Many studies have shown that isotope data are valuable for hydrological model calibration. Recent developments have made isotope analyses more accessible but event sampling still involves significant time and financial costs. Therefore, it is worth to study how many isotope samples are needed for hydrological model calibration and what the most informative sampling times are. In this study, we used synthetic data to investigate how systematic errors in the precipitation, streamflow and the isotopic composition of precipitation affect the information content of stream isotope samples for model calibration. The results show that model performance improves significantly when two or three isotope samples are used for calibration and that the most informative samples are taken on the falling limb. However, when there are errors in the rainfall isotopic composition, rising limb samples are more informative. Data errors caused the most informative samples to be more clustered and to occur earlier in the event compared to error free data. These results provide guidance on when to sample events for model calibration and thus help to reduce the cost and effort in obtaining useful data for model calibration.

Abstract

Many studies have shown that isotope data are valuable for hydrological model calibration. Recent developments have made isotope analyses more accessible but event sampling still involves significant time and financial costs. Therefore, it is worth to study how many isotope samples are needed for hydrological model calibration and what the most informative sampling times are. In this study, we used synthetic data to investigate how systematic errors in the precipitation, streamflow and the isotopic composition of precipitation affect the information content of stream isotope samples for model calibration. The results show that model performance improves significantly when two or three isotope samples are used for calibration and that the most informative samples are taken on the falling limb. However, when there are errors in the rainfall isotopic composition, rising limb samples are more informative. Data errors caused the most informative samples to be more clustered and to occur earlier in the event compared to error free data. These results provide guidance on when to sample events for model calibration and thus help to reduce the cost and effort in obtaining useful data for model calibration.

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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:2018
Deposited On:16 Jan 2018 16:06
Last Modified:19 Mar 2018 14:41
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2306-5338
OA Status:Gold
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology5010004

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