SPHY v2.0: Spatial Processes in HYdrology
Geoscientific Model Development Discussions
This paper introduces and presents the Spatial Processes in HYdrology (SPHY) model (v2.0), its development background, its underlying concepts, and some typical applications. The SPHY model is developed using the best components of existing and well-tested simulation models, and is developed with the explicit aim to simulate terrestrial hydrology at flexible scales, under various land use and climate conditions. SPHY is a spatially distributed leaky bucket type of model, and is applied on a
... is applied on a cell-by-cell basis. The model is written in the Python programming language using the PCRaster dynamic modelling framework. Compared to other hydrological models, that typically focus on the simulation of streamflow only, the SPHY model has several advantages: it (i) integrates most relevant hydrological processes, (ii) is setup modular, (iii) is easy adjustable and applicable, (iii) can easily be linked to remote sensing data, and (iv) can be applied for operational as well as strategic decision support. The most relevant hydrological processes that are integrated in the SPHY model are rainfall–runoff processes, cryosphere processes, evapotranspiration processes, the simulation of dynamic vegetational cover, lake/reservoir outflow, and the simulation of rootzone moisture contents. Studies in which the SPHY model was successfully applied and tested are described in this paper, and range from (i) real-time soil moisture predictions to support irrigation management in lowland areas, to (ii) detailed climate change impact studies in snow and glacier-fed river basins, to (iii) operational flow forecasting in mountainous catchments.