Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-58
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-58

  04 Feb 2021

04 Feb 2021

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

Technical note: PMR – a proxy metric to assess hydrological model robustness in a changing climate

Paul Royer-Gaspard, Vazken Andréassian, and Guillaume Thirel Paul Royer-Gaspard et al.
  • Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, HYCAR Research Unit, 92761 Antony, France

Abstract. The ability of hydrological models to perform in climatic conditions different from those encountered in calibration is crucial to ensure a reliable assessment of the impact of climate change in water management sectors. However, most evaluation studies based on the Differential Split-Sample Test (DSST) endorsed the consensus that rainfall-runoff models lack climatic robustness. Models typically exhibit substantial errors on streamflow volumes applied under climatologically different conditions. In this technical note, we propose a new performance metric to evaluate model robustness without applying the DSST and which performs with a single hydrological model calibration. The Proxy for Model Robustness (PMR) is based on the systematic computation of model error on sliding sub-periods of the whole streamflow time series. We demonstrate that the metric shows patterns similar to those obtained with the DSST for a conceptual model on a set of 377 French catchments. An analysis of sensitivity to the length of the sub-periods shows that this length influences the values of the PMR and its adequation with DSST biases. We recommend a range of a few years for the choice of sub-period lengths, although this should be context-dependent. Our work makes it possible to evaluate the temporal transferability of any hydrological model, including uncalibrated models, at a very low computational cost.

Paul Royer-Gaspard et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-58', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-58', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Apr 2021

Paul Royer-Gaspard et al.

Paul Royer-Gaspard et al.

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