Articles | Volume 21, issue 1
Research article
25 Jan 2017
Research article |  | 25 Jan 2017

Looking beyond general metrics for model comparison – lessons from an international model intercomparison study

Tanja de Boer-Euser, Laurène Bouaziz, Jan De Niel, Claudia Brauer, Benjamin Dewals, Gilles Drogue, Fabrizio Fenicia, Benjamin Grelier, Jiri Nossent, Fernando Pereira, Hubert Savenije, Guillaume Thirel, and Patrick Willems

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Cited articles

Berghuijs, W. R., Sivapalan, M., Woods, R. A., and Savenije, H. H. G.: Patterns of similarity of seasonal water balances: A window into streamflow variability over a range of time scales, Water Resour. Res., 50, 5638–5661,, 2014.
Brauer, C. C., Teuling, A. J., Torfs, P. J. J. F., and Uijlenhoet, R.: The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 2313–2332,, 2014a.
Brauer, C. C., Torfs, P. J. J. F., Teuling, A. J., and Uijlenhoet, R.: The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): application to the Hupsel Brook catchment and the Cabauw polder, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4007–4028,, 2014b.
Breuer, L., Huisman, J., Willems, P., Bormann, H., Bronstert, A., Croke, B., Frede, H.-G., Gräff, T., Hubrechts, L., Jakeman, A., Kite, G., Lanini, J., Leavesley, G., Lettenmaier, D., Lindström, G., Seibert, J., Sivapalan, M., and Viney, N.: Assessing the impact of land use change on hydrology by ensemble modeling (LUCHEM). I: Model intercomparison with current land use, Adv. Water Resour., 32, 129–146,, 2009.
Ceola, S., Arheimer, B., Baratti, E., Blöschl, G., Capell, R., Castellarin, A., Freer, J., Han, D., Hrachowitz, M., Hundecha, Y., Hutton, C., Lindström, G., Montanari, A., Nijzink, R., Parajka, J., Toth, E., Viglione, A., and Wagener, T.: Virtual laboratories: new opportunities for collaborative water science, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2101–2117,, 2015.
Short summary
In this study, the rainfall–runoff models of eight international research groups were compared for a set of subcatchments of the Meuse basin to investigate the influence of certain model components on the modelled discharge. Although the models showed similar performances based on general metrics, clear differences could be observed for specific events. The differences during drier conditions could indeed be linked to differences in model structures.