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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    Hydrological application of radar rainfall nowcasting in the Netherlands
    Heuvelink, Danny ; Berenguer, Marc ; Brauer, Claudia C. ; Uijlenhoet, Remko - \ 2020
    Environment International 136 (2020). - ISSN 0160-4120
    Flood forecasting - Radar rainfall nowcasting - Weather radar

    Accurate and robust short-term rainfall forecasts (nowcasts) are useful in operational flood forecasting. However, the high temporal and spatial variability of rainfall fields make rainfall nowcasting a challenging endeavour. To cope with this variability, nowcasting techniques based on weather radar imagery have been proposed. Here, we employ radar rainfall nowcasting for discharge predictions in three lowland catchments in the Netherlands, with surface areas ranging from 6.5 to 957 km2. Deterministic (Lagrangian persistence) and probabilistic (SBMcast) nowcasting techniques are used to produce short-term rainfall forecasts (up to a few hours ahead), which are used as input for the hydrological model WALRUS. Rainfall forecasts were found to deteriorate with increasing lead time, often due to underestimation. Discharge could be forecasted 25–170 min earlier than without rainfall nowcasting, with the best performance for the largest catchment. When accounting for catchment response time, the best (but most variable) relative performance was found for the smallest catchment. Probabilistic nowcasting effectively accounted for the uncertainty associated with rainfall and discharge forecasts. The uncertainty in rainfall forecasts was found to be largest for the smaller catchments. The uncertainty in how much earlier the discharge could be forecasted (the gain in lead time) ranged from 15 to 50 min.

    Hydrologic impacts of changing land use and climate in the Veneto lowlands of Italy
    Pijl, Anton ; Brauer, Claudia C. ; Sofia, Giulia ; Teuling, Adriaan J. ; Tarolli, Paolo - \ 2018
    Anthropocene 22 (2018). - ISSN 2213-3054 - p. 20 - 30.
    Climate change - Hydrologic modelling - Land use change - Lowland - Scenario analysis - Urbanisation

    The Po valley in northern Italy is one of Europe's largest and most anthropogenically-modified lowland areas, where intensifying climate and land transformation are increasingly causing water management problems. In this study, the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is calibrated, validated, and applied to a reclaimed basin in the Veneto region (Italy) in order to assess the hydrologic impacts of land use and climate change scenarios. First-time model calibration for Mediterranean lowlands resulted in reasonable performance during the training year (NSE 0.77), but lower validation performance (NSE 0.53), while potential for improved calibration was limited by data availability. Scenario analysis covers the historical and future changes in land cover and climate throughout a century (1951–2060), based on aerial imagery analysis, hydrologic measurements, COSMO-CLM regional climate projections and demographics. WALRUS simulations illustrate how land use transformation (i.e. expanded built-up zones and a diminished drainage network) have a strong potential to increase discharge intensities from the catchment, mostly evident in summer peak flow (past −34%; future +48%). A historical scenario of combined land use and climate shows even stronger deviations from the present (annual discharge −19%; summer peak flow −45%), resulting from an observed increase in rainfall intensity and seasonality over the past 50 years. With drier future climate projections, however, the discharge response is moderate in the combined future scenario. Despite the non-optimal model calibration, the presented work in the Veneto region illustrates the directional impact of processes typical of anthropogenic lowlands. Particularly, the impact of observed land transformation seems to diminish the buffering and storage capacity of the catchment, thereby enhancing the hydrologic risks in modern times.

    Minicursus beekhydrologie v2
    Brauer, C.C. - \ 2018
    Op 21 september 2017 organiseerde Het Platform Beek- en Rivierherstel van STOWA het symposium ‘Ruimte voor de beek. Kansen voor integraal beekherstel met de nieuwe Omgevingswet’. Tijdens de dag werd deze korte video vertoond, waarin onderzoeker Claudia Brauer van WUR op heldere wijze de hydrologie van beken uiteenzet.
    The hupsel brook catchment : Insights from five decades of lowland observations
    Brauer, C.C. ; Velde, Y. van der; Teuling, A.J. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2018
    Vadose Zone Journal 17 (2018)1. - ISSN 1539-1663

    The 6.5-km2 Hupsel Brook catchment has been used as an example rural lowland area to understand rainfall–runoff processes, land–atmosphere interactions, and solute transport and to investigate how they are affected by changes in land use and water management. Meteorological and hydrological variables have been measured nearly continuously since 1964, including the 1976 drought and 2010 flood. In addition, more than 2200 water quality samples have been analyzed since the 1980s, with dedicated field campaigns focused on soil physics, evapotranspiration, and rainfall measurement. Novel insights based on these observations include the conclusion that shallow groundwater tables result in a coupled saturated–unsaturated zone and sustain evaporation in dry periods. Partitioning of rainwater between various flow paths is storage driven and therefore catchment wetness determines, together with groundwater–surface water interaction, the response of runoff to rainfall as well as solute transport.

    Brauer, C.C. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Prinsen, G. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2018
    Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator: Modelstructuur en toepassingen
    Brauer, C.C. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2018
    Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator: Recente ontwikkelingen
    Brauer, C.C. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2018
    Hydrologisch intermezzo : Platform beek- en rivierherstel
    Brauer, C.C. - \ 2017
    Minicursus beekhydrologie
    Looking beyond general metrics for model comparison – Lessons from an international model intercomparison study
    Boer-Euser, Tanja de; Bouaziz, Laurène ; Niel, Jan De; Brauer, Claudia ; Dewals, Benjamin ; Drogue, Gilles ; Fenicia, Fabrizio ; Grelier, Benjamin ; Nossent, Jiri ; Pereira, Fernando ; Savenije, Hubert ; Thirel, Guillaume ; Willems, Patrick - \ 2017
    Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 21 (2017)1. - ISSN 1027-5606 - p. 423 - 440.

    International collaboration between research institutes and universities is a promising way to reach consensus on hydrological model development. Although model comparison studies are very valuable for international cooperation, they do often not lead to very clear new insights regarding the relevance of the modelled processes. We hypothesise that this is partly caused by model complexity and the comparison methods used, which focus too much on a good overall performance instead of focusing on a variety of specific events. In this study, we use an approach that focuses on the evaluation of specific events and characteristics. Eight international research groups calibrated their hourly model on the Ourthe catchment in Belgium and carried out a validation in time for the Ourthe catchment and a validation in space for nested and neighbouring catchments. The same protocol was followed for each model and an ensemble of best-performing parameter sets was selected. Although the models showed similar performances based on general metrics (i.e. the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency), clear differences could be observed for specific events. We analysed the hydrographs of these specific events and conducted three types of statistical analyses on the entire time series: cumulative discharges, empirical extreme value distribution of the peak flows and flow duration curves for low flows. The results illustrate the relevance of including a very quick flow reservoir preceding the root zone storage to model peaks during low flows and including a slow reservoir in parallel with the fast reservoir to model the recession for the studied catchments. This intercomparison enhanced the understanding of the hydrological functioning of the catchment, in particular for low flows, and enabled to identify present knowledge gaps for other parts of the hydrograph. Above all, it helped to evaluate each model against a set of alternative models.

    Overstroming in de stad – hoe houden we het droog?
    Brauer, C.C. - \ 2016
    Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research
    Overstroming of juist droogte – het klimaat verandert en daarmee nemen de weersextremen toe. Vooral in de steden kan dit tot veel overlast leiden. De sleutel tot de oplossing ligt in klimaatadaptatie.
    De Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): een snel neerslag-afvoermodel speciaal voor laaglandstroomgebieden
    Brauer, C.C. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2016
    Stromingen : vakblad voor hydrologen 22 (2016)1. - ISSN 1382-6069 - p. 7 - 18.
    neerslag - hydrologie van stroomgebieden - modellen - afvoerwater - laaglandgebieden - stroomgebieden - grondwater - oppervlaktewater - kwel - reservoirs - droogte - risicoanalyse - precipitation - catchment hydrology - models - effluents - lowland areas - watersheds - groundwater - surface water - seepage - reservoirs - drought - risk analysis
    De Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is een nieuw neerslag-afvoermodel dat het gat moet vullen tussen complexe, ruimtelijk gedistribueerde modellen die vaak gebruikt worden in laaglandstroomgebieden en simpele, ruimtelijk geïntegreerde, parametrische modellen die voornamelijk zijn ontwikkeld voor hellende stroomgebieden. WALRUS houdt expliciet rekening met hydrologische processen die belangrijk zijn in laaglandgebieden, in het bijzonder (1) de koppeling tussen grondwater en onverzadigde zone, (2) vochttoestandafhankelijke stroomroutes, (3) grondwater-oppervlaktewaterterugkoppeling en (4) kwel, wegzijging en het inlaten of wegpompen van oppervlaktewater. WALRUS bestaat uit een gekoppeld reservoir voor grondwater en onverzadigde zone, een reservoir voor snelle stroomroutes en een oppervlaktewaterreservoir. Het is geschikt voor operationele toepassingen omdat het efficiënt rekent en numeriek stabiel is. In de vrij toegankelijke modelcode zijn standaardrelaties geïmplementeerd, zodat er slechts vier parameters overblijven die gekalibreerd hoeven te worden. Het model is geschikt voor het operationeel simuleren van hoogwater en droogte ten behoeve van risico-analyses en scenario-analyses, voor het ontwerpen van infrastructuur en voor het aanvullen van ontbrekende gegevens in afvoermeetreeksen
    The effect of differences between rainfall measurement techniques on groundwater and discharge simulations in a lowland catchment
    Brauer, Claudia C. ; Overeem, Aart ; Leijnse, Hidde ; Uijlenhoet, Remko - \ 2016
    Hydrological Processes 30 (2016)21. - ISSN 0885-6087 - p. 3885 - 3900.
    Lowland catchment - Microwave link - Rainfall measurement - Rainfall-runoff model - Weather radar

    Several rainfall measurement techniques are available for hydrological applications, each with its own spatial and temporal resolution and errors. When using these rainfall datasets as input for hydrological models, their errors and uncertainties propagate through the hydrological system. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of differences between rainfall measurement techniques on groundwater and discharge simulations in a lowland catchment, the 6.5-km2 Hupsel Brook experimental catchment. We used five distinct rainfall data sources: two automatic raingauges (one in the catchment and another one 30km away), operational (real-time and unadjusted) and gauge-adjusted ground-based C-band weather radar datasets and finally a novel source of rainfall information for hydrological purposes, namely, microwave link data from a cellular telecommunication network. We used these data as input for the, a recently developed rainfall-runoff model for lowland catchments, and intercompared the five simulated discharges time series and groundwater time series for a heavy rainfall event and a full year. Three types of rainfall errors were found to play an important role in the hydrological simulations, namely: (1) Biases, found in the unadjusted radar dataset, are amplified when propagated through the hydrological system; (2) Timing errors, found in the nearest automatic raingauge outside the catchment, are attenuated when propagated through the hydrological system; (3) Seasonally varying errors, found in the microwave link data, affect the dynamics of the simulated catchment water balance. We conclude that the hydrological potential of novel rainfall observation techniques should be assessed over a long period, preferably a full year or longer, rather than on an event basis, as is often done.

    Rainfall estimates for hydrological models: Comparing rain gauge, radar and microwave link data as input for the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulation (WALRUS)
    Brauer, C.C. ; Overeem, A. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2015
    Geophysical Research Abstracts 17 (2015). - ISSN 1029-7006 - 1 p.
    EGU General Assembly 2015 - WALRUS
    Getting a feel for parameters: using interactive parallel plots as a tool for parameter identification in the new rainfall-runof model WALRUS
    Brauer, C.C. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2015
    EGU General Assembly 2015 - WALRUS
    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater
    Brauer, C.C. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2014
    Geoscientific Model Development 7 (2014)5. - ISSN 1991-959X - p. 2313 - 2332.
    flow route contributions - surface water interactions - soil-moisture - process conceptualization - hydrological models - root-growth - tile drain - scale - calibration - discharge
    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for sloping catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.
    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): application to the Hupsel Brook catchement and Cabauw polder
    Brauer, C.C. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2014
    Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 18 (2014). - ISSN 1027-5606 - p. 4007 - 4028.
    surface parameterization schemes - distributed hydrological model - flow route contributions - land-surface - groundwater interactions - spatial variability - rainfall - scale - netherlands - validation
    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is a new parametric (conceptual) rainfall–runoff model which accounts explicitly for processes that are important in lowland areas, such as groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, wetness-dependent flowroutes, groundwater–surface water feedbacks, and seepage and surface water supply (see companion paper by Brauer et al., 2014). Lowland catchments can be divided into slightly sloping, freely draining catchments and flat polders with controlled water levels. Here, we apply WALRUS to two contrasting Dutch catchments: the Hupsel Brook catchment and the Cabauw polder. In both catchments, WALRUS performs well: Nash–Sutcliffe efficiencies obtained after calibration on 1 year of discharge observations are 0.87 for the Hupsel Brook catchment and 0.83 for the Cabauw polder, with values of 0.74 and 0.76 for validation. The model also performs well during floods and droughts and can forecast the effect of control operations. Through the dynamic division between quick and slow flowroutes controlled by a wetness index, temporal and spatial variability in groundwater depths can be accounted for, which results in adequate simulation of discharge peaks as well as low flows. The performance of WALRUS is most sensitive to the parameter controlling the wetness index and the groundwater reservoir constant, and to a lesser extent to the quickflow reservoir constant. The effects of these three parameters can be identified in the discharge time series, which indicates that the model is not overparameterised (parsimonious). Forcing uncertainty was found to have a larger effect on modelled discharge than parameter uncertainty and uncertainty in initial conditions.
    Modelling rainfall-runoff processes in lowland catchments
    Brauer, C.C. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Remko Uijlenhoet, co-promotor(en): Ryan Teuling. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461738547 - 93
    hydrologie - hydrologie van stroomgebieden - regen - afvloeiingswater - laaglandgebieden - modelleren - nederland - hydrology - catchment hydrology - rain - runoff water - lowland areas - modeling - netherlands
    Lowland catchments can be divided into mildly sloping, freely draining catchments and flat areas with managed surface water levels. In this thesis, data from two Dutch field sites are used. The mildly sloping, freely draining Hupsel Brook catchment is located in the east of The Netherlands, with elevations ranging from 22 to 35 m above sea level. This catchment has been an experimental catchment since the 1960s. The flat Cabauw polder is located in the west of The Netherlands at an “elevation” of 1 meter below sea level. This area is part of the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR).
    Understanding lowland (flash) floods: analysis of the 2010 flash flood in the Hupsel Brook catchment and comparison with other recent lowland floods
    Brauer, C.C. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2013
    In: proceedings 11th International Precipitation Conference 2013, Ede, The Netherlands, 30 June-3 July 2013. - - p. 81 - 81.
    Investigating storage-discharge relations in a lowland catchment using hydrograph fitting, recession analysis, and soil moisture data
    Brauer, C.C. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Torfs, P.J.J.F. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2013
    Water Resources Research 49 (2013)7. - ISSN 0043-1397 - p. 4257 - 4264.
    [1] The relation between storage and discharge is an essential characteristic of many rainfall-runoff models. The simple dynamical systems approach, in which a rainfall-runoff model is constructed from a single storage-discharge relation, has been successfully applied to humid catchments. Here we investigate (1) if and when the less humid lowland Hupsel Brook catchment also behaves like a simple dynamical system by hydrograph fitting, and (2) if system parameters can be inferred from streamflow recession rates or more directly from soil moisture storage observations. Only 39% of the fitted monthly hydrographs yielded Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies above 0.5, from which we can conclude that the Hupsel Brook catchment does not always behave like a simple dynamical system. Model results were especially poor in summer, when evapotranspiration is high and the thick unsaturated zone attenuates the rainfall input. Using soil moisture data to obtain system parameters is not trivial, mainly because there is a discrepancy between local and catchment storage. Parameters obtained with direct storage-discharge fitting led to a strong underestimation of the response of runoff to rainfall, while recession analysis leads to an overestimation.
    Hydrology in a Dutch polder catchment: natural processes in a man-made landscape
    Brauer, C.C. ; Stricker, J.N.M. ; Uijlenhoet, R. - \ 2012
    Experimental catchments are traditionally located in areas with limited human influence, but the societal and financial losses due to hydrological extremes are often larger in more densely populated areas. In The Netherlands and other delta areas around the world, intensive drainage and water level regulation have made patches of originally swampy land between cities suitable for agriculture. The question is how the rainfall-runoff processes in these artificial catchments compare to those occurring in more natural catchments and whether conceptual hydrological models, which have been developed for natural landscapes, contain the appropriate hydrological processes for application to artificial catchments. Our experimental “catchment” of 0.5 km2 is part of a polder area located near the town of Cabauw in The Netherlands. This polder is completely flat and at an “elevation" of one meter below mean sea level. The catchment is drained by many small, man-made channels of which the water levels are regulated. Water is supplied upstream into the catchment by the local water authority. The catchment is part of the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR), which is well-known in the international meteorological community. In addition to the large amount of meteorlogical measurements, including precipitation and actual evapotranspiration, we measure discharge (both into and out of the catchment), ground water levels and soil moisture contents. We will present a detailed development of the water balance terms over several years, an overview of the main hydrological processes during wet and dry conditions and differences between natural and polder catchments.
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