Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-453
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-453
29 Sep 2020
 | 29 Sep 2020
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Runoff sensitivity to spatial rainfall variability: A hydrological modeling study with dense rain gauge observations

Clara Hohmann, Gottfried Kirchengast, Sungmin O, Wolfgang Rieger, and Ulrich Foelsche

Abstract. Precipitation is a key input to hydrological models. While rain gauges provide the most direct precipitation measurements, their accuracy in capturing rain patterns highly depends on the spatial variability of rainfall events and the gauge network density. In this study, we employ a high-resolution meteorological station network (mean station distance of 1.4 km), the WegenerNet in southeastern Austria, to investigate the impact of station density and interpolation schemes on runoff simulations. We first simulate runoff during heavy precipitation (three short-duration and three long-duration events) using a physically based hydrological model with precipitation input obtained from a full network of 158 stations. The same simulations are then repeated with precipitation inputs from subnetworks of 5, 8, 16, 32, and 64 stations, using three different interpolation schemes – Inverse Distance Weighting with a weighting power of 2 and of 3, respectively, and Thiessen polygon interpolation. We find that the performance of runoff simulations is greatly influenced by the spatial variability of precipitation input, especially for short-duration rainfall events and in small catchments. For long-duration events, reliable runoff simulations in the study area can be obtained with a subnetwork of 16 or more well-distributed gauges (mean station distance of about 6 km). We find a clear effect of interpolation schemes on runoff modeling as well, but only for low-density gauge networks. The sensitivity to the precipitation input is smaller for long-duration heavy precipitation events and bigger catchments. As a next step we suggest to study an ensemble of precipitation datasets in combination with runoff modeling to be able to decompose the effects of precipitation measurement uncertainties and its spatial variability.

Clara Hohmann, Gottfried Kirchengast, Sungmin O, Wolfgang Rieger, and Ulrich Foelsche
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Clara Hohmann, Gottfried Kirchengast, Sungmin O, Wolfgang Rieger, and Ulrich Foelsche

Data sets

WegenerNet climate station networkLevel 2 data version 7.1 2007-2018 J. Fuchsberger, G. Kirchengast, C. Bichler, A. Leuprecht, and T. Kabas https://doi.org/10.25364/WEGC/WPS7.1:2019.1

Clara Hohmann, Gottfried Kirchengast, Sungmin O, Wolfgang Rieger, and Ulrich Foelsche

Viewed

Total article views: 1,338 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
927 383 28 1,338 22 26
  • HTML: 927
  • PDF: 383
  • XML: 28
  • Total: 1,338
  • BibTeX: 22
  • EndNote: 26
Views and downloads (calculated since 29 Sep 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 29 Sep 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 1,211 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 1,205 with geography defined and 6 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Latest update: 04 Mar 2024
Download
Short summary
Heavy precipitation events are still feeding with a large uncertainty into hydrological models. Based on the highly dense station network WegenerNet (one station per 2 km2) we analyzed the sensitivity of runoff simulations to different rain network densities and interpolation methods in small catchments. We find, and quantify relevant characteristics, that runoff curves especially from short-duration convective rainfall events are strongly influenced by gauge station density and distribution.