02 Sep 2022
02 Sep 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Revisiting the Hydrological Basis of the Budyko Framework With the Hydrologically Similar Groups Principle

Yuchan Chen1, Xiuzhi Chen1, Meimei Xue1, Chuanxun Yang2,3, Wei Zheng1, Jun Cao4, and Wenting Yan1 Yuchan Chen et al.
  • 1Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, 519082, China
  • 2Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510640, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
  • 4Guangdong provincial Academy of Environmental Science, Guangzhou, 510635, China

Abstract. The Budyko framework is a simple but effective tool for watershed water balance estimation. Accurate estimation of the watershed characteristic parameter (Pw) is critical to accurate water balance simulations using the Budyko framework. However, there is no universal quantification criterion for the Pw because of the complex interactions between hydrologic, climatic, and watershed characteristic factors at global scales. Therefore, this research introduced the hydrologically similar groups principle into the Budyko framework and defined the criteria for quantifying Pw in similar environments. We classified global watersheds into six groups based on watershed attributes, including climate, soil moisture, and vegetation, and identified the controlling factors of the Pw in each hydrologically similar group. Our results show that the Pw is closely related to soil moisture (SM) and the power function gradually changes from positive to negative as soil moisture increases. The relationship between the Pw and fractional vegetation cover (FVC) can be described with different linear equations in different hydrologic similarity groups, except in the group with no strong seasonality and moist soils. Based on these relationships, a model for estimating the Pw (PwM) was established with multiple non-linear regression methods between the Pw and its controlling factors (SM and FVC). Then, we used bootstrapping and runoff reconstruction methods to verify the usability of PwM. The validation results illustrate that PwM overall presents a satisfactory performance through bootstrapping (R2 = 0.63) and runoff reconstruction (R2 = 0.89). Results show that the hydrologically similar groups method can quantify the Pw and the improved Budyko framework can aptly simulate global runoff, especially in humid watersheds. This study lays the basis for explaining the Pw in the Budyko framework and improves the applicability of the Budyko framework for estimating global runoff.

Yuchan Chen 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-2022-290', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Sep 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yuchan Chen, 23 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2022-290', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Sep 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yuchan Chen, 23 Nov 2022
  • CC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-290', Vazken Andréassian, 02 Oct 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on CC1', Yuchan Chen, 23 Nov 2022

Yuchan Chen et al.

Yuchan Chen et al.


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Short summary
This study addresses the quantification and estimation of the watershed characteristic parameter (Pw) in the Budyko framework with the hydrologically similar groups principle. The results show that the Pw is closely related to soil moisture and fractional vegetation cover, and the relationship varies across specific hydrologic similarity groups. The overall satisfactory performance of the Pw estimation model further improves the applicability of the Budyko framework for estimating global runoff.