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Seeking genericity in the selection of parameter sets: Impact on hydrological model efficiency

Abstract : This paper evaluates the use of a small number of generalist parameter sets as an alternative to classical calibration. Here parameter sets are considered generalist when they yield acceptable performance on a large number of catchments. We tested the genericity of an initial collection of 10(6) parameter sets sampled in the parameter space for the four-parameter GR4J rainfall-runoff model. A short list of 27 generalist parameter sets was obtained as a good compromise between model efficiency and length of the short list. A different data set was used for an independent evaluation of a calibration procedure, in which the search for an optimum parameter set is only allowed within this short list. In validation mode, the performance obtained is inferior to that of a classical calibration, but when the amount of data available for calibration is reduced, the generalist parameter sets become progressively more competitive, with better results for calibration series shorter than 1 year. Key Points We produce a generalist list of parameter sets Short-list calibration is evaluated on an independent catchment data set With short calibration series, the generalist parameter sets give better results 10.1002/(ISSN)1944-7973
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Vazken Andréassian, François Bourgin, Ludovic Oudin, Thibault Mathevet, Charles Perrin, et al.. Seeking genericity in the selection of parameter sets: Impact on hydrological model efficiency. Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union, 2014, 50 (10), pp.8356-8366. ⟨10.1002/2013WR014761⟩. ⟨hal-01196447⟩

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