Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2017-138
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
10 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Comparative evaluation of rainfall-runoff modelling against flow duration curves in semi-humid catchments
Daeha Kim1, Ilwon Jung2, and Jong Ahn Chun1 1APEC Climate Center, Busan, 48058, South Korea
2Korea Infrastructure Safety & Technology Corporation, Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, 52852, South Korea
Abstract. Streamflow prediction using rainfall-runoff models has long been a special subject in hydrological sciences, and parameter identification is still challenging in ungauged catchments. In this study, we comparatively evaluated predictive performance of rainfall-runoff modelling against the flow duration curve (FDC), which is gaining attention as signature-based parameter identification, by comparing it with conventional hydrograph-based approaches for gauged and ungauged catchments. Using a parsimonious model GR4J under a Monte-Carlo framework, we conducted rainfall-runoff modelling against observed hydrographs and empirical FDCs for 45 gauged catchments in South Korea. By treating each catchment as ungauged, the parameter calibration against regional FDCs was compared with the proximity-based parameter regionalisation in terms of hydrograph and flow signature reproducibility. Results showed that the FDC calibration could lead to noticeably weaker performance and higher uncertainty in predictions in gauged catchments due to the absence of flow timing. The calibration against regional FDCs, which were estimated by a geostatistical method, also showed weaker performance than the proximity-based parameter regionalisation. A relative merit of the FDC calibration was high performance in predicting low flows. From the evaluation of signature reproducibility, it is suggested that metrics describing flow dynamics such as the rising limb density should be added as complementary constraints for improving rainfall-runoff modelling against FDCs.

Citation: Kim, D., Jung, I., and Chun, J. A.: Comparative evaluation of rainfall-runoff modelling against flow duration curves in semi-humid catchments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2017-138, in review, 2017.
Daeha Kim et al.
Daeha Kim et al.
Daeha Kim et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we evaluated predictive performance of a rainfall-runoff model when its behavioral parameters are found from flow magnitudes only. The parameter sets did relatively not well reproduce flow observations when compared to a conventional method that uses both magnitudes and timing of observed flows. Under no flow observations, the parameters found by predicted flow magnitudes also showed lower predictive performance than those indirectly obtained from the gauged sites.
In this study, we evaluated predictive performance of a rainfall-runoff model when its...
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