Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2017-82
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 Feb 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Impact of model structure on flow simulation and hydrological realism: from lumped to semi-distributed approach
Federico Garavaglia, Matthieu Le Lay, Fréderic Gottardi, Rémy Garçon, Joël Gailhard, Emmanuel Paquet, and Thibault Mathevet EDF-DTG, 21 avenue de l’Europe, BP 41, 38040 Grenoble CEDEX 09, France
Abstract. Model intercomparison experiments are widely used to investigate and improve hydrological model performances. However, a study based only on runoff simulation is not sufficient to discriminate different model structures. Hence, there is a need to improve hydrological models for specific signatures of streamflow (e.g. low and high flow) and multivariable predictions (e.g. soil moisture, snow and groundwater). This study assesses the impact of model structure on flow simulation and hydrological realism using three versions of an hydrological model called MORDOR: the historical lumped structure and a revisited formulation inflected for lumped and semi-distributed structures. In particular, the main goal of this paper is to investigate the relative impact of model equations and spatial discretization on flow simulation, snowpack representation and evapotranspiration estimate. The models comparison is based on an extensive dataset composed of 50 catchments located in French mountainous regions. The evaluation framework is founded on a multi-criteria split sample strategy. All models were calibrated using an automatic optimization method based on an efficient genetic algorithm. The evaluation framework is enriched by the assessment of snow and evapotranspiration modeling against in-situ and satellite data. The results showed that the new model formulations perform significantly better than the initial one in terms of the various streamflow signatures, snow and evapotranspiration predictions. The semi-distributed approach provides better calibration-validation performances for snow cover area, snow water equivalent and runoff simulation especially for nival catchments.

Citation: Garavaglia, F., Le Lay, M., Gottardi, F., Garçon, R., Gailhard, J., Paquet, E., and Mathevet, T.: Impact of model structure on flow simulation and hydrological realism: from lumped to semi-distributed approach, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2017-82, in review, 2017.
Federico Garavaglia et al.
Federico Garavaglia et al.
Federico Garavaglia et al.

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