Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-57
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-57
08 Mar 2024
 | 08 Mar 2024
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A large-sample modelling approach towards integrating streamflow and evaporation data for the Spanish catchments

Patricio Yeste, Matilde García-Valdecasas Ojeda, Sonia R. Gámiz-Fortis, Yolanda Castro-Díez, Axel Bronstert, and María Jesús Esteban-Parra

Abstract. The simultaneous incorporation of streamflow and evaporation data into sensitivity analysis and calibration approaches has a great potential to improve the representation of hydrologic processes in modelling frameworks. This work aims to investigate the capabilities of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model in a large-sample application focused on the joint integration of streamflow and evaporation data for 189 headwater catchments located in Spain. The study has been articulated into three parts: (1) a regional sensitivity analysis for a total of 20 soil, routing and vegetation parameters to select the most important parameters conducive to an adequate representation of the streamflow and evaporation dynamics; (2) a two-fold calibration approach against daily streamflow and monthly evaporation data based on the previous parameter selection for VIC, and (3) an evaluation of model performance based on a benchmark comparison against a well-established hydrologic model for the Spanish domain and a cross-validation test using multiple meteorological datasets to assess the generalizability of the calibrated parameters. The regional sensitivity analysis revealed that only two vegetation parameters – namely, the leaf area index and the minimum stomatal resistance – were sufficient to improve the performance of VIC for evaporation. These parameters were added to the soil and routing parameter during the calibration stage. Results from the two calibration experiments suggested that, while the streamflow performance remained close in both cases, the evaporation performance was highly improved if the objectives for streamflow and evaporation were combined into a single composite function during optimization. The VIC model outperfomed the reference benchmark and the independent meteorological datasets yielded a slight to moderate loss in model performance depending on the calibration experiment considered. This investigation will help gain a better understanding of the hydrology of the Spanish catchments and will help prepare the ground for a fully gridded implementation of the VIC model in Spain.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Patricio Yeste, Matilde García-Valdecasas Ojeda, Sonia R. Gámiz-Fortis, Yolanda Castro-Díez, Axel Bronstert, and María Jesús Esteban-Parra

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-2024-57', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Jun 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Patricio Yeste, 16 Jul 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2024-57', Ilhan Özgen-Xian, 04 Jul 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Patricio Yeste, 16 Jul 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2024-57', Anonymous Referee #3, 05 Jul 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Patricio Yeste, 16 Jul 2024
Patricio Yeste, Matilde García-Valdecasas Ojeda, Sonia R. Gámiz-Fortis, Yolanda Castro-Díez, Axel Bronstert, and María Jesús Esteban-Parra

Data sets

A large-sample modelling approach towards integrating streamflow and evaporation data for the Spanish catchments Patricio Yeste, Matilde García-Valdecasas Ojeda, Sonia R. Gámiz-Fortis, Yolanda Castro-Díez, Axel Bronstert, and María Jesús Esteban-Parra https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10670292

Patricio Yeste, Matilde García-Valdecasas Ojeda, Sonia R. Gámiz-Fortis, Yolanda Castro-Díez, Axel Bronstert, and María Jesús Esteban-Parra

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Short summary
Integrating streamflow and evaporation data can help improve the physical realism of hydrologic models. In this work we investigate the capabilities of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) to reproduce both hydrologic variables for 189 headwater located in Spain. Results from sensitivity analysis indicate that adding two vegetation is enough to improve the representation of evaporation, and the performance of VIC exceeded that of the largest modelling effort currently available in Spain.