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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-127
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-127
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  15 Jun 2020

15 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A framework to regionalize conceptual model parameters for global hydrological modeling

Wenyan Qi1, Jie Chen1,2, Lu Li3, Chong-yu Xu4, Jingjing Li1, Yiheng Xiang1, and Shaobo Zhang1 Wenyan Qi et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Water Resources & Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, 299 Bayi Road, Wuchang Distinct, Wuhan, Hubei, 430072, China
  • 2Hubei Provincial Key Lab of Water System Science for Sponge City Construction, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
  • 3NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 4Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway

Abstract. To provide an accurate estimate of global water resources and help to formulate water allocation policies, global hydrological models (GHMs) have been developed. However, it is difficult to obtain parameter values for GHMs, which results in large uncertainty in estimation of the global water balance components. In this study, a framework is developed for building GHMs based on parameter regionalization of catchment scale conceptual hydrological models. That is, using appropriate global scale regionalization scheme (GSRS) and conceptual hydrological models to simulate runoff at the grid scale globally and the Network Response Routing (NRF) method to converge the grid runoff to catchment streamflow. To achieve this, five regionalization methods (i.e. the global mean method, the spatial proximity method, the physical similarity method, the physical similarity method considering distance, and the regression method) are first tested for four conceptual hydrological models over thousands medium-sized catchments (2500–50000 km2) around the world to find the appropriate global scale regionalization scheme. The selected GSRS is then used to regionalize conceptual model parameters for global land grids with 0.5°×0.5° resolution on latitude and longitude. The results show that: (1) Spatial proximity method with the Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) method and the output average option (SPI-OUT) offers the best regionalization solution, and the greatest gains of the SPI-OUT method were achieved with mean distance between the donor catchments and the target catchment is no more than 1500 km. (2) It was found the Kling-Gupta efficiency (KGE) value of 0.5 is a good threshold value to select donor catchments. And (3) Four different GHMs established based on framework were able to produce reliable streamflow simulations. Overall, the proposal framework can be used with any conceptual hydrological model for estimating global water resources, even though uncertainty exists in terms of using difference conceptual models.

Wenyan Qi et al.

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Wenyan Qi et al.

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Short summary
Global hydrological models (GHMs) play important roles in global water resources estimation and it is difficult to obtain parameter values for GHMs. A framework is developed for building GHMs based on parameter regionalization of catchment scale conceptual hydrological models. Four different GHMs established based on this framework can produce reliable streamflow simulations. Over all, it can be used with any conceptual hydrological model even though uncertainty exists in using different models.
Global hydrological models (GHMs) play important roles in global water resources estimation and...
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