Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2017-218
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
A method to employ the spatial organisation of catchments into semi-distributed rainfall–runoff models
Henning Oppel and Andreas Schumann Institute of Hydrology, Water Resources Management and Environmental Engineering, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, 44801, Germany
Abstract. A distributed or semi-distributed deterministic hydrological model should consider the hydrological most relevant catchment characteristics. These are heterogeneously distributed within a watershed but often interrelated and subject of a certain spatial organisation which results in archetypes of combined characteristics. In order to reproduce the natural rainfall-runoff response the reduction of variance of catchment properties as well as the incorporation of the spatial organisation of the catchment is desirable. In this study the with-function approach is used as a basic characteristic to analyse succession of catchments characteristics. With this technique we are able assess the context of catchment properties like soil or topology along the stream flow length and the network geomorphology, giving indications on the spatial organisation of a catchment. Moreover, these information and technique has been implemented in an algorithm for automated sub-basin ascertainment, which includes the definition of zones within the newly defined sub-basins. Aiming to provide sub-basins that are less heterogeneous than common separation schemes. The algorithm is applied on two parameters characterising topology and soil of four mid-European watersheds. Resulting partitions indicate a wide range of applicability for the method and the algorithm. Additionally the intersection of derived zones for different catchment characteristics could give insights on sub-basin similarities. Finally a HBV96-case study also proved the benefits for modelling of the new subdivision technique.

Citation: Oppel, H. and Schumann, A.: A method to employ the spatial organisation of catchments into semi-distributed rainfall–runoff models, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2017-218, in review, 2017.
Henning Oppel and Andreas Schumann
Henning Oppel and Andreas Schumann
Henning Oppel and Andreas Schumann

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Short summary
How can we evaluate the heterogeneity of natural watersheds and how can we assess its spatial organisation? How can we make use of this information for hydrological models and is it beneficial to our models? We propose a method display and assess the interaction of catchment characteristics with the flow path which we defined as the ordering scheme within a basin. A newly implemented algorithm brings these information to the setup of a model and our results show an increase of model performance.
How can we evaluate the heterogeneity of natural watersheds and how can we assess its spatial...
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