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Comparison of hydrological model structures based on recession and low flow simulations


Staudinger, Maria; Stahl, K; Seibert, Jan; Clark, M P; Tallaksen, L M (2011). Comparison of hydrological model structures based on recession and low flow simulations. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 15(11):3447-3459.

Abstract

Low flows are often poorly reproduced by commonly used hydrological models, which are traditionally designed to meet peak flow situations. Hence, there is a need to improve hydrological models for low flow prediction. This study assessed the impact of model structure on low flow simulations and recession behaviour using the Framework for Understanding Structural Errors (FUSE). FUSE identifies the set of subjective decisions made when building a hydrological model and provides multiple options for each modeling decision. Altogether 79 models were created and applied to simulate stream flows in the snow dominated headwater catchment Narsjø in Norway (119 km2). All models were calibrated using an automatic optimisation method. The results showed that simulations of summer low flows were poorer than simulations of winter low flows, reflecting the importance of different hydrological processes. The model structure influencing winter low flow simulations is the lower layer architecture, whereas various model structures were identified to influence model performance during summer.

Abstract

Low flows are often poorly reproduced by commonly used hydrological models, which are traditionally designed to meet peak flow situations. Hence, there is a need to improve hydrological models for low flow prediction. This study assessed the impact of model structure on low flow simulations and recession behaviour using the Framework for Understanding Structural Errors (FUSE). FUSE identifies the set of subjective decisions made when building a hydrological model and provides multiple options for each modeling decision. Altogether 79 models were created and applied to simulate stream flows in the snow dominated headwater catchment Narsjø in Norway (119 km2). All models were calibrated using an automatic optimisation method. The results showed that simulations of summer low flows were poorer than simulations of winter low flows, reflecting the importance of different hydrological processes. The model structure influencing winter low flow simulations is the lower layer architecture, whereas various model structures were identified to influence model performance during summer.

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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:17 November 2011
Deposited On:03 Feb 2012 14:08
Last Modified:10 Sep 2017 05:13
Publisher:Copernicus
ISSN:1027-5606 (P) 1607-7938 (E)
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-15-3447-2011

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