Technical note: Comparing three different methods for allocating river points to coarse-resolution hydrological modelling grid cells
Abstract. The allocation of points in a river network to pixels of a coarse-resolution hydrological modelling grid is a wellknown issue, especially for hydrologists who use measurements at gauging stations to calibrate and validate distributed hydrological models. To address this issue, the traditional approach involves examining grid cells surrounding the considered river point and selecting the best candidate, based on distance and upstream drainage area as decision criteria. However, recent studies have suggested that focusing on basin boundaries rather than basin areas could prevent many allocation errors, even though the performance gain is rarely assessed. This paper compares different allocation methods and examines their relative performance. Three methods representing various families of methods have been designed: area-based, topology-based and contour-based methods. These methods are implemented to allocate 2580 river points to a 1 km hydrological modelling grid. These points are distributed along the entire hydrographic network of the French southeastern Mediterranean region, covering upstream drainage areas ranging from 5 km2 to 3000 km2. The results indicate that the differences between the methods can be significant, especially for small upstream catchments areas.
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