Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA
Abstract. Sensitivity analysis is an effective tool for identifying important uncertainty sources and improving model calibration and predictions, especially for integrated systems with heterogeneous parameter inputs and complex processes coevolution. In this work, an advanced hierarchical global sensitivity analysis framework, which integrates a hierarchical uncertainty framework and a variance-based global sensitivity analysis, was implemented to quantitatively analyze several uncertainties of a three-dimensional, process-based hydrologic model (PAWS). The uncertainty sources considered include model parameters, model structures (with/without overland flow module), and climate forcing. We apply the approach in a ~ 9000 km2 Amazon catchment modeled at 1 km resolution to provide a demonstration of multiple uncertainty source quantification using a large-scale process-based hydrologic model. The sensitivity indices are assessed based on three important hydrologic outputs: evapotranspiration (ET), ground evaporation (EG), and groundwater contribution to streamflow (QG). It is found that, in general, model parameters (especially those within the streamside model grid cells) are the most important uncertainty contributor for all sensitivity indices. In addition, the overland flow module significantly contributes to model predictive uncertainty. These results can assist model calibration and provide modelers a better understanding of the general sources of uncertainty in predictions of complex hydrological systems in Amazonia. We demonstrated a pilot example for comprehensive global sensitivity analysis of large-scale complex hydrological models in this research. The hierarchical sensitivity analysis methodology used is mathematically rigorous and can be applied to a wide range of large-scale hydrological models with various sources of uncertainty.
How to cite. Liu, H., Dai, H., Niu, J., Hu, B. X., Qiu, H., Gui, D., Ye, M., Chen, X., Wu, C., Zhang, J., and Riley, W.: Hierarchical Sensitivity Analysis for Large Scale Process-based
Hydrological Modeling with Application in an Amazonian
Watershed, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-246, 2019.
Received: 21 May 2019 – Discussion started: 02 Aug 2019