Articles | Volume 25, issue 1
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 147–167, 2021
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 147–167, 2021

Research article 07 Jan 2021

Research article | 07 Jan 2021

The role and value of distributed precipitation data in hydrological models

Ralf Loritz et al.

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Subject: Catchment hydrology | Techniques and Approaches: Modelling approaches
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Cited articles

Berger, M. J. and Oliger, J.: Adaptive mesh refinement for hyperbolic partial differential equations, J. Comput. Phys., 53, 484–512,, 1984. 
Berkowitz, B. and Zehe, E.: Surface water and groundwater: Unifying conceptualization and quantification of the two “water worlds”, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1831–1858,, 2020. 
Beven, K.: Changing ideas in hydrology – The case of physically-based models, J. Hydrol., 105, 157–172,, 1989. 
Beven, K.: Prophecy, reality and uncertainty in distributed hydrological modelling, Adv. Water Resour., 16, 41–51,, 1993. 
Beven, K.: Dalton Lecture: How Far Can We Go In Distributed Hydrological Modelling?, Lancaster University, Long Beach, California, 1–12, available at: (last access: 15 June 2020), 2001. 
Short summary
This study investigates the role and value of distributed rainfall in the runoff generation of a mesoscale catchment. We compare the performance of different hydrological models at different periods and show that a distributed model driven by distributed rainfall yields improved performances only during certain periods. We then step beyond this finding and develop a spatially adaptive model that is capable of dynamically adjusting its spatial model structure in time.