EGU23-13397, updated on 31 Mar 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How could we improve the spatial consistency of water fluxes in a semi-distributed hydrological model? A multi-criteria approach

Shu-Chen Hsu, Alban de Lavenne, Charles Perrin, and Vazken Andréassian
Shu-Chen Hsu et al.
  • Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, HYCAR Research Unit, Antony, France

While hydrological models aim to represent the hydrological behaviour of catchments, many of them have been streamlined on the exclusive basis of streamflow simulation performance, i.e. among the possible parameter sets, the 'optimal' is the one which brings the best simulation of streamflow during the calibration period. However, we sometimes encounter 'optimal' sets which perform well in discharge simulation but yield unrealistic simulations of other fluxes (e.g. actual evaporation fluxes, inter-catchment groundwater fluxes). Previous studies tried to constrain the exploration of parameter space with measurements complementary to river discharge: this application of extra information aims to increase the physical realism of the model compared to discharge-only calibration. In this study, we carry out an original investigation to take advantage of the spatial patterns of the complementary data in order to drive the calibration towards a more spatially consistent solution.

We propose here a feasibility test, to constrain the spatial consistency of fluxes of a semi-distributed GR model (GRSD). Our study area is the Somme catchment (6100 km2 ) with 17 internal gauging stations, each of them having more than 15 years of discharge measurement. As a first step, we use the long-term actual evaporation from Budyko-estimation as an extra constraint, which has been widely used for describing spatial patterns of climate. In the second step, we develop a criterion describing the spatial consistency between the pattern of measured and simulated fluxes. By constraining the model with extra information, the model is expected to yield a more consistent simulation of fluxes in comparison with the classical calibration practice. Moreover, we analysed the impact of this additional constraint on the spatial organisation of IGF over the catchment as both the other components in water balance analysis, actual evaporation and discharge, are constrained.

How to cite: Hsu, S.-C., de Lavenne, A., Perrin, C., and Andréassian, V.: How could we improve the spatial consistency of water fluxes in a semi-distributed hydrological model? A multi-criteria approach, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13397,, 2023.