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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-536
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-536
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Nov 2018

Research article | 19 Nov 2018

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

Replication of ecologically relevant hydrological indicators following a covariance approach to hydrological model parameterisation

Annie Visser, Lindsay Beevers, and Sandhya Patidar Annie Visser et al.
  • Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK

Abstract. Hydrological models can be used to assess the impact of hydrologic alteration on the river ecosystem. However, there are considerable limitations and uncertainties associated with the replication of the required, ecologically relevant hydrological indicators. Vogel and Sankarasubramanian's covariance approach to model parameterisation represents a shift away from the traditional calibration-validation goodness-of-fit paradigm. Using the covariance structures of the observed input and simulated output time-series, the region of parameter space which best captures (replicates) the characteristics of a hydrological indicator may be identified. Through a case study, a modified covariance approach is applied with a view to replicating a suite of seven ecologically relevant hydrological indicators. Model performance and consistency are assessed relative to four comparative studies. The ability of the approach to address the limitations associated with traditional calibration-validation is further considered. Benefits of the approach include an overall reduction in model uncertainty whilst also reducing overall time-demands. Difficulties in the replication of complex indicators, such as rate of change, are in line with prior work. Nonetheless, the study illustrates that consistency in the replication of hydrological indicators is achievable; additionally, the replication of magnitude indices is markedly improved upon.

Annie Visser et al.
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Annie Visser et al.
Annie Visser et al.
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Short summary
The ecological impact of change to river flow may be explored through the simulation of ecologically relevant flow indicators. Traditional approaches to model parameterisation are not well-suited for this. To this end, this paper considers the ability of a modified covariance approach. Improvements in performance and consistency are observed relative to: (1) the limitations of traditional approaches; and (2) four comparative studies.
The ecological impact of change to river flow may be explored through the simulation of...
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