Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Regionalization for ungauged catchments — lessons learned from a comparative large‐sample study


Pool, Sandra; Vis, Marc J P; Seibert, Jan (2021). Regionalization for ungauged catchments — lessons learned from a comparative large‐sample study. Water Resources Research, 57(10):e2021WR030437.

Abstract

Model parameter values for ungauged catchments can be regionalized from hydrologically similar gauged catchments. Achieving reliable and robust predictions in ungauged catchments by regionalization, however, is still a major challenge. Here, we conduct a comparative assessment of 19 regionalization approaches based on previously published literature to contribute new insights into their performance in different geographic regions. The approaches use geographical information, physical catchment attributes, hydrological signatures, or a combination thereof to select donor catchments and to subsequently transfer their entire parameter sets to the ungauged receiver catchment. Each regionalization approach was tested in a leave-one-out cross-validation with a bucket-type catchment model (the HBV model) using 671 gauged catchments in the United States with a diverse hydroclimatology. We then evaluated regionalization performance for several hydrograph aspects, compared it against calibration and regionalization benchmarks, and linked it to catchment descriptors. The results of this large-sample regionalization study can be summarized in three major lessons: (a) Catchments can benefit from a well-chosen regionalization approach independent of their geographic region and independent of how well they can be modeled or regionalized at best. (b) Almost perfect donors exist for most catchments and an excellent relative model performance can be reached for most catchments with current regionalization approaches. This implies that there is considerable potential for improvement in the prediction in ungauged catchments. (c) The ranking of regionalization approaches depends on how the predicted hydrographs are evaluated. These findings indicate that a multi-criteria evaluation is essential for a robust assessment of regionalization performance.

Abstract

Model parameter values for ungauged catchments can be regionalized from hydrologically similar gauged catchments. Achieving reliable and robust predictions in ungauged catchments by regionalization, however, is still a major challenge. Here, we conduct a comparative assessment of 19 regionalization approaches based on previously published literature to contribute new insights into their performance in different geographic regions. The approaches use geographical information, physical catchment attributes, hydrological signatures, or a combination thereof to select donor catchments and to subsequently transfer their entire parameter sets to the ungauged receiver catchment. Each regionalization approach was tested in a leave-one-out cross-validation with a bucket-type catchment model (the HBV model) using 671 gauged catchments in the United States with a diverse hydroclimatology. We then evaluated regionalization performance for several hydrograph aspects, compared it against calibration and regionalization benchmarks, and linked it to catchment descriptors. The results of this large-sample regionalization study can be summarized in three major lessons: (a) Catchments can benefit from a well-chosen regionalization approach independent of their geographic region and independent of how well they can be modeled or regionalized at best. (b) Almost perfect donors exist for most catchments and an excellent relative model performance can be reached for most catchments with current regionalization approaches. This implies that there is considerable potential for improvement in the prediction in ungauged catchments. (c) The ranking of regionalization approaches depends on how the predicted hydrographs are evaluated. These findings indicate that a multi-criteria evaluation is essential for a robust assessment of regionalization performance.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 07 Oct 2021
1 download 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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:1 October 2021
Deposited On:07 Oct 2021 10:44
Last Modified:07 Oct 2021 10:44
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0043-1397
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1029/2021wr030437

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'Regionalization for ungauged catchments — lessons learned from a comparative large‐sample study'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 6MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)