Articles | Volume 19, issue 10
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4365–4376, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4365-2015
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4365–4376, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4365-2015

Research article 29 Oct 2015

Research article | 29 Oct 2015

Process verification of a hydrological model using a temporal parameter sensitivity analysis

M. Pfannerstill1, B. Guse1, D. Reusser2, and N. Fohrer1 M. Pfannerstill et al.
  • 1Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Institute of Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, Kiel, Germany
  • 2Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. To ensure reliable results of hydrological models, it is essential that the models reproduce the hydrological process dynamics adequately. Information about simulated process dynamics is provided by looking at the temporal sensitivities of the corresponding model parameters. For this, the temporal dynamics of parameter sensitivity are analysed to identify the simulated hydrological processes. Based on these analyses it can be verified if the simulated hydrological processes match the observed processes of the real world.

We present a framework that makes use of processes observed in a study catchment to verify simulated hydrological processes. Temporal dynamics of parameter sensitivity of a hydrological model are interpreted to simulated hydrological processes and compared with observed hydrological processes of the study catchment. The results of the analysis show the appropriate simulation of all relevant hydrological processes in relation to processes observed in the catchment. Thus, we conclude that temporal dynamics of parameter sensitivity are helpful for verifying simulated processes of hydrological models.

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Short summary
To ensure reliable model results, hydrological processes have to be represented adequately in models. We present a framework that uses a temporal parameter sensitivity analysis and observed hydrological processes in the catchment to verify hydrological models. The framework is exemplarily applied to verify the groundwater structure of a hydrological model. The results show the appropriate simulation of all relevant hydrological processes in relation to processes observed in the catchment.