A downward structural sensitivity analysis of hydrological models to improve low-flow simulation - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Hydrology Year : 2011

A downward structural sensitivity analysis of hydrological models to improve low-flow simulation

Abstract

SummaryBetter simulation and earlier prediction of river low flows are needed for improved water management. Here, a top-down structural analysis to improve a hydrological model in a low-flow simulation perspective is presented. Starting from a simple but efficient rainfall-runoff model (GR5J), we analyse the sensitivity of low-flow simulations to progressive modifications of the model's structure. These modifications correspond to the introduction of more complex routing schemes and/or the addition of simple representations of groundwater-surface water exchanges. In these tests, we wished to improve low-flow simulation while avoiding performance losses in high-flow conditions, i.e. keeping a general model. In a typical downward modelling perspective, over 60 versions of the model were tested on a large set of French catchments corresponding to various low-flow conditions, and performance was evaluated using criteria emphasising errors in low-flow conditions. The results indicate that several best performing structures yielded quite similar levels of efficiency. The addition of a new flow component to the routing part of the model yielded the most significant improvement. In spite of the close performance of several model structures, we conclude by proposing a modified model version of GR5J with a single additional parameter.

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Dates and versions

hal-04110441 , version 1 (30-05-2023)

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Raji Pushpalatha, Charles Perrin, Nicolas Le Moine, Thibault Mathevet, Vazken Andréassian. A downward structural sensitivity analysis of hydrological models to improve low-flow simulation. Journal of Hydrology, 2011, 411, pp.66-76. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.09.034⟩. ⟨hal-04110441⟩
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