Articles | Volume 20, issue 4
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1433–1445, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-1433-2016

Special issue: HESS Opinions 2016

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1433–1445, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-1433-2016

Opinion article 15 Apr 2016

Opinion article | 15 Apr 2016

HESS Opinions: Advocating process modeling and de-emphasizing parameter estimation

Abdolreza Bahremand Abdolreza Bahremand
  • Watershed Management Department, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

Abstract. Since its origins as an engineering discipline, with its widespread use of "black box" (empirical) modeling approaches, hydrology has evolved into a scientific discipline that seeks a more "white box" (physics-based) modeling approach to solving problems such as the description and simulation of the rainfall–runoff responses of a watershed. There has been much recent debate regarding the future of the hydrological sciences, and several publications have voiced opinions on this subject. This opinion paper seeks to comment and expand upon some recent publications that have advocated an increased focus on process-based modeling while de-emphasizing the focus on detailed attention to parameter estimation. In particular, it offers a perspective that emphasizes a more hydraulic (more physics-based and less empirical) approach to development and implementation of hydrological models.

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There has been much recent debate regarding the future of the hydrological sciences, and several publications have voiced opinions on this subject. This opinion paper seeks to comment and expand on some recent publications that have advocated an increased focus on process modeling while de-emphasizing the focus on detailed attention to parameter estimation. In particular, it offers a perspective that emphasizes a more hydraulic approach to development and implementation of hydrological models.