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Hydrological model calibration with uncertain discharge data


Westerberg, Ida K; Sikorska-Senoner, Anna E; Viviroli, Daniel; Vis, Marc; Seibert, Jan (2020). Hydrological model calibration with uncertain discharge data. Hydrological Sciences Journal:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Discharge data used to calibrate and evaluate hydrological models can be highly uncertain and this uncertainty affects the conclusions that we can draw from modelling results. We investigated the role of discharge data uncertainty and its representation in hydrological model calibration to give recommendations on methods to account for data uncertainty. We tested five different representations of discharge data uncertainty in calibrating the HBV-model for three Swiss catchments, ranging from using no information to using full empirical probability distributions for each time step. We developed a new objective function to include discharge data uncertainty, as quantified by these distributions directly in calibration to hydrological time series. This new objective function provided more reliable results than using no data uncertainty or multiple realizations of discharge time series. We recommend using the new objective function in combination with empirical or triangular distributions of the discharge data uncertainty.

Abstract

Discharge data used to calibrate and evaluate hydrological models can be highly uncertain and this uncertainty affects the conclusions that we can draw from modelling results. We investigated the role of discharge data uncertainty and its representation in hydrological model calibration to give recommendations on methods to account for data uncertainty. We tested five different representations of discharge data uncertainty in calibrating the HBV-model for three Swiss catchments, ranging from using no information to using full empirical probability distributions for each time step. We developed a new objective function to include discharge data uncertainty, as quantified by these distributions directly in calibration to hydrological time series. This new objective function provided more reliable results than using no data uncertainty or multiple realizations of discharge time series. We recommend using the new objective function in combination with empirical or triangular distributions of the discharge data uncertainty.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Water Science and Technology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:30 April 2020
Deposited On:27 May 2020 09:35
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 15:13
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0262-6667
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2020.1735638

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