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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Jun 2018

Research article | 29 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Tailor-made spatial patterns for hydrological model parameters combining regionalisation methods

Laura Rouhier1,2, Federico Garavaglia1, Matthieu Le Lay1, Timothée Michon3, William Castaings3, Nicolas Le Moine2, Frédéric Hendrickx4, Céline Monteil4, and Pierre Ribstein2 Laura Rouhier et al.
  • 1Électricité de France, DTG, Grenoble, France
  • 2Sorbonne Université, Paris VI, UMR 7619 METIS, Paris, France
  • 3TENEVIA, Meylan, France
  • 4Électricité de France, R&D, Paris, France

Abstract. Calibration of spatially distributed models is an important issue given their over-parameterisation. Three common regionalisation methods can be distinguished: transposition, prescription and constraint. This paper proposes a strategy where the three methods are combined to provide several spatial patterns depending on the model parameters. On the one hand, insensitive and equifinal parameters are prescribed uniformly while parameters with a physical meaning are prescribed at the mesh scale. On the other hand, parameters linked with a proxy runoff signature are constrained over each sub-basin and the remaining parameters are transposed with a physio-climatic pattern constructed over the calibration sub-basins.

The above tailor-made pattern regionalisation is applied at the daily time step over two large French catchments, the Loire catchment at Gien covering 35707km2 and the Durance catchment at Cadarache covering 11738km2. It is then evaluated and compared to a single regionalisation method over dozens of validation stations, treated as ungauged during the parameter regionalisation process. For that purpose, simulated and observed streamflows are compared in light of four runoff signatures: daily runoff, seasonality, flood and low flow. The results show that the tailor-made patterns succeed in significantly enhancing almost all the signatures. The enhancement appears for the least well-modelled stations and contributes a 20% improvement towards gauged modelling. It also tends to guarantee a minimum performance in an ungauged context since the minimum KGE is now 0.4 whatever runoff signature is used.

Laura Rouhier et al.
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Laura Rouhier et al.
Laura Rouhier et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Parameter estimation of distributed hydrological models is usually conducted with a single method. However, the main methods can be combined to consider differently the model parameters according to their characteristics. The strategy presented in the paper takes advantage of three different methods to provide four different spatial patterns. This tailor-made method then proves to be more robust and more relevant for prediction in ungauged basins while significantly reducing the number of degree.
Parameter estimation of distributed hydrological models is usually conducted with a single...