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Journal Articles Journal of Hydrometeorology Year : 2016

Multiscale and multivariate evaluation of water fluxes and states over European river basins

Abstract

Accurately predicting regional-scale water fluxes and states remains a challenging task in contemporary hy- drology. Coping with this grand challenge requires, among other things, a model that makes reliable predictions across scales, locations, and variables other than those used for parameter estimation. In this study, the mesoscale hydrologic model (mHM) parameterized with the multiscale regionalization technique is comprehensively tested across 400 European river basins. The model fluxes and states, constrained using the observed streamflow, are evaluated against gridded evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and total water storage anomalies, as well as local- scale eddy covariance observations. This multiscale verification is carried out in a seamless manner at the native resolutions of available datasets, varying from 0.5 to 100 km. Results of cross-validation tests show that mHM is able to capture the streamflow dynamics adequately well across a wide range of climate and physiographical characteristics. The model yields generally better results (with lower spread of model statistics) in basins with higher rain gauge density. Model performance for other fluxes and states is strongly driven by the degree of seasonality that each variable exhibits, with the best match being observed for evapotranspiration, followed by total water storage anomaly, and the least for soil moisture. Results show that constraining the model against streamflow only may be necessary but not sufficient to warrant the model fidelity for other complementary var- iables. The study emphasizes the need to account for other complementary datasets besides streamflow during parameter estimation to improve model skill with respect to ‘‘hidden’’ variables.

Dates and versions

hal-02639605 , version 1 (28-05-2020)

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Oldrich Rakovec, Rohini Kumar, Juliane Mai, Matthias Cuntz, Stephan Thober, et al.. Multiscale and multivariate evaluation of water fluxes and states over European river basins. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 2016, 17 (1), pp.287-307. ⟨10.1175/JHM-D-15-0054.1⟩. ⟨hal-02639605⟩

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