Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-542
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-542

  19 Nov 2021

19 Nov 2021

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

A retrospective on hydrological modelling based on half a century with the HBV model

Jan Seibert1,2 and Sten Bergström Jan Seibert and Sten Bergström
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Zurich, 8057, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, 750 07, Sweden
  • Retired, previously Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden

Abstract. Hydrological models are important tools that are commonly used as the basis for water resource management planning. In the 1970s the development of several relatively simple models started and a number of so-called conceptual (or bucket-type) models were suggested. In these models, the complex and heterogeneous hydrological processes in a catchment are represented by a limited number of storage elements and fluxes between these. While a major motivation for such relatively simple models in the early days were computational limitations, today some of these models are still used frequently despite vastly increased computational opportunities. The HBV model, which was first applied about 50 years ago in Sweden, is a typical example of a conceptual catchment model and has gained large popularity over the past 50 years. During several model intercomparisons, the HBV model performed well despite (or because of) its relatively simple model structure. Here, the history of model development from thoughtful considerations of different model structures to modelling studies using hundreds of catchments and cloud computing facilities, is described. Furthermore, the wide range of model applications is discussed. The aim is to provide an understanding of the background of model development and a basis for addressing the balance between model complexity and data availability, which will face hydrologists also in the coming decades.

Jan Seibert and Sten Bergström

Status: open (until 14 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Jan Seibert and Sten Bergström

Jan Seibert and Sten Bergström

Viewed

Total article views: 465 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
348 115 2 465 3 2
  • HTML: 348
  • PDF: 115
  • XML: 2
  • Total: 465
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 19 Nov 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 19 Nov 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 459 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 459 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 01 Dec 2021
Download
Short summary
Hydrological models are commonly used as the basis for water resource management planning. The HBV model, which is a typical example of such models, was first applied about 50 years ago in Sweden. We describe, and reflect on, the model development and applications. The aim is to provide an understanding of the background of model development and a basis for addressing the balance between model complexity and data availability, which will face hydrologists also in the coming decades.