Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-413
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-413

  16 Aug 2021

16 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

On constraining a lumped hydrological model with both piezometry and streamflow: results of a large sample evaluation

Antoine Pelletier1,2 and Vazken Andréassian2 Antoine Pelletier and Vazken Andréassian
  • 1École des Ponts, Marne-la-Vallée, France
  • 2Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, UR HYCAR, Antony, France

Abstract. The role of aquifers in the seasonal and multiyear dynamics of streamflow is undisputed: in many temperate catchments, aquifers store water during the wet periods and release it all year long, making a major contribution to low flows. The complexity of groundwater modelling has long prevented surface hydrological modellers from including groundwater level data, especially in lumped rainfall–runoff models. In this article, we investigate whether using groundwater level data in the daily GR6J model, through a composite calibration framework, can improve the performance of streamflow simulation. We tested the new calibration process on 107 French catchments. Our results show that these additional data are superfluous for streamflow simulation, since for catchments, model performance is not significantly improved. However, parameter stability is ameliorated and the model shows a surprising ability to simulate groundwater level with a satisfying performance, in a wide variety of hydrogeological and hydroclimatic contexts. Finally, we make several recommendations regarding the model calibration process to be used in a given situation.

Antoine Pelletier and Vazken Andréassian

Status: open (until 20 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-413', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Sep 2021 reply

Antoine Pelletier and Vazken Andréassian

Antoine Pelletier and Vazken Andréassian

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Short summary
A large part of the water cycle takes place underground. In many places, the soil stores water during the wet periods and can release it all year long, which is particularly visible when the river level is low. Modelling tools, that are used to simulate and forecast the behaviour of the river, struggle to represent this. We improved an existing model to take underground water into account, using measurements of the soil water content. Results allow us make recommendations for model users.