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Master thesis

Comparison of hydrological modelling R packages

Abstract : R packages are increasingly being used for hydrological studies as the R programming language is open source and easily operable. The R packages containing hydrological models are part of the available packages indented for hydrology. However, it was noticed that there has never been any analysis about these specific packages despite their growing number. In this report, a general overview was first made so as to show the overall characteristics of some R packages containing rainfall-runoff models that were found in the package repositories. Ten hydrological modelling R packages were then selected for more thorough assessments. The package models were examined in terms of modelling “philosophy”, i.e. the represented hydrological processes, the applied spatial distribution, the requirements to use the models and the ability of the packages to make available a variety of outputs. The packages were then assessed regarding their usability through some analyses of their technical features, ease of use and R design. Seven packages were finally used to run some of their models on two different catchments. The report contains a framework that should enable any newcomer to use seven hydrological modelling R packages on specific catchments in order to simulate time series of streamflow values. Results showed that the packages contain models with very different conceptions of hydrological modelling. Indeed, the models range from very simplified conceptualization bases to very complex representations of runoff generation mechanisms. Therefore, they do not involve the same inputs or parameters in order to be operated. Making use of the different models thus requires a complete understanding of the models and of the package specificities that are not always made obvious by the packages documentation. The simulations that were performed on two catchments seemed to indicate the importance of using the package models under suitable conditions so as to obtain reliable results. It is perceived that the outcomes of this study could ease the required preliminary steps to choose and use an R package for hydrological modelling.
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Master thesis
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Contributor : Paul Astagneau Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, June 21, 2021 - 2:27:48 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:54:48 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 6:42:22 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03266100, version 1



Paul Astagneau. Comparison of hydrological modelling R packages. Hydrology. 2019. ⟨hal-03266100⟩



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