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 549757
Title Evaluating seasonal hydrological extremes in mesoscale (pre-)Alpine basins at coarse 0.5° and fine hyperresolution
Author(s) Buitink, Joost; Uijlenhoet, Remko; Teuling, Adriaan J.
Source Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 23 (2019)3. - ISSN 1027-5606 - p. 1593 - 1609.
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019

Hydrological models are being applied for impact assessment across a wide range of resolutions. In this study, we quantify the effect of model resolution on the simulated hydrological response in five mesoscale basins in the Swiss Alps using the distributed hydrological model Spatial Processes in Hydrology (SPHY). We introduce a new metric to compare a range of values resulting from a distributed model with a single value: the density-weighted distance (DWD). Model simulations are performed at two different spatial resolutions, matching common practices in hydrology: 500m×500m matching regional-scale models, and 40km×40km matching global-scale modeling. We investigate both the intra-basin response in seasonal streamflow and evapotranspiration from the high-resolution model and the difference induced by the two different spatial resolutions, with a focus on four seasonal extremes, selected based on temperature and precipitation. Results from the high-resolution model show that the intra-basin response covers a surprisingly large range of anomalies and show that it is not uncommon to have both extreme positive and negative flux anomalies occurring simultaneously within a catchment. The intra-basin response was grouped by land cover, where different dominant runoff-generating processes are driving the differences between these groups. The low-resolution model failed to capture the diverse and contrasting response from the high-resolution model, since neither the complex topography nor land cover classes were properly represented. DWD values show that, locally, the hydrological response simulated with a high-resolution model can be a lot more extreme than a low-resolution model might indicate, which has important implications for global or continental scale assessments carried out at coarse grids of 0:5°×0:5° or 0:25°× 0:25° resolution.

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