Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Research article
29 Apr 2011
Research article |  | 29 Apr 2011

Multi-objective automatic calibration of hydrodynamic models utilizing inundation maps and gauge data

N. V. Dung, B. Merz, A. Bárdossy, T. D. Thang, and H. Apel

Abstract. Automatic and multi-objective calibration of hydrodynamic models is – compared to other disciplines like e.g. hydrology – still underdeveloped. This has mainly two reasons: the lack of appropriate data and the large computational demand in terms of CPU-time. Both aspects are aggravated in large-scale applications. However, there are recent developments that improve the situation on both the data and computing side. Remote sensing, especially radar-based techniques proved to provide highly valuable information on flood extents, and in case high precision DEMs are present, also on spatially distributed inundation depths. On the computing side the use of parallelization techniques brought significant performance gains. In the presented study we build on these developments by calibrating a large-scale 1-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the whole Mekong Delta downstream of Kratie in Cambodia: we combined in-situ data from a network of river gauging stations, i.e. data with high temporal but low spatial resolution, with a series of inundation maps derived from ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) satellite images, i.e. data with low temporal but high spatial resolution, in an multi-objective automatic calibration process. It is shown that an automatic, multi-objective calibration of hydrodynamic models, even of such complexity and on a large scale and complex as a model for the Mekong Delta, is possible. Furthermore, the calibration process revealed model deficiencies in the model structure, i.e. the representation of the dike system in Vietnam, which would have been difficult to detect by a standard manual calibration procedure.