EGU23-10593, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Incorporating The Variable Contributing Area Concept in The HYPE Modelling Framework

Mohamed Ismaiel Ahmed1, Kevin Shook2, Alain Pietroniro3, Tricia Stadnyk1, John W. Pomeroy2, Charlotta Pers4, and David Gustafsson4
Mohamed Ismaiel Ahmed et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada
  • 2Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 1K2, Canada
  • 3Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, T2N 4V8, Canada
  • 4Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden

Modelling the hydrology of the North American prairie region is complicated by the dominance of cold region processes and by the flat topography, which contains millions of depressions. The depressions contribute to variable contributing areas in prairie basins, due to their varying water storage. The relationships between the depressional storage, and the contributing fraction are hysteretic and strongly influence the basin responses. Most hydrological models do not represent these complex hysteretic relationships, and therefore struggle in simulating the hydrology of the region. In this study, we propose a novel Hysteretic Depressional Storage (HDS) algorithm that is based on the known hysteretic properties of prairie depressions. HDS is implemented into the HYPE modelling framework to improve the simulations of prairie streamflow by accounting for the variable contributing area. The modified HYPE, and the original program are tested on two depression-dominated basins in Saskatchewan, Canada. The modified HYPE model show improved simulation of streamflows compared to the original HYPE model. The HDS algorithm can contribute to improving the streamflow simulation of not only the North American prairie region, but also in the arctic and Siberian regions, which are dominated by the same complex depressional storages. The modified HYPE model should also improve the estimates of surface water storage and the resulting evaporative fluxes in these regions, increasing model fidelity and improving water budget estimates in these complex terrains, especially under changing climates.

How to cite: Ahmed, M. I., Shook, K., Pietroniro, A., Stadnyk, T., Pomeroy, J. W., Pers, C., and Gustafsson, D.: Incorporating The Variable Contributing Area Concept in The HYPE Modelling Framework, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10593,, 2023.