Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 505896
Title Representation of spatial and temporal variability in large-domain hydrological models: case study for a mesoscale pre-Alpine basin
Author(s) Melsen, Lieke; Teuling, Adriaan; Torfs, Paul; Zappa, Massimiliano; Mizukami, Naoki; Clark, Martyn; Uijlenhoet, Remko
Source Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20 (2016)6. - ISSN 1027-5606 - p. 2207 - 2226.
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract The transfer of parameter sets over different temporal and spatial resolutions is common practice in many large-domain hydrological modelling studies. The degree to which parameters are transferable across temporal and spatial resolutions is an indicator of how well spatial and temporal variability is represented in the models. A large degree of transferability may well indicate a poor representation of such variability in the employed models. To investigate parameter transferability over resolution in time and space we have set up a study in which the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model for the Thur basin in Switzerland was run with four different spatial resolutions (1 km  ×  1 km, 5 km  ×  5 km, 10 km  ×  10 km, lumped) and evaluated for three relevant temporal resolutions (hour, day, month), both applied with uniform and distributed forcing. The model was run 3150 times using the Hierarchical Latin Hypercube Sample and the best 1 % of the runs was selected as behavioural. The overlap in behavioural sets for different spatial and temporal resolutions was used as an indicator of parameter transferability. A key result from this study is that the overlap in parameter sets for different spatial resolutions was much larger than for different temporal resolutions, also when the forcing was applied in a distributed fashion. This result suggests that it is easier to transfer parameters across different spatial resolutions than across different temporal resolutions. However, the result also indicates a substantial underestimation in the spatial variability represented in the hydrological simulations, suggesting that the high spatial transferability may occur because the current generation of large-domain models has an inadequate representation of spatial variability and hydrologic connectivity. The results presented in this paper provide a strong motivation to further investigate and substantially improve the representation of spatial and temporal variability in large-domain hydrological models.
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