Comparing the Hydrological Responses of Conceptual and Process-Based Models with Varying Rain Gauge Density and Distribution

Zhaokai Yin, Weihong Liao, Xiaohui Lei, Hao Wang, Ruojia Wang
2018 Sustainability  
Precipitation provides the most crucial input for hydrological modeling. However, rain gauge networks, the most common precipitation measurement mechanisms, are sometimes sparse and inadequately distributed in practice, resulting in an imperfect representation of rainfall spatial variability. The objective of this study is to analyze the sensitivity of different model structures to the different density and distribution of rain gauges and evaluate their reliability and robustness. Based on a
more » ... n gauge network of 20 gauges in the Jinjiang River Basin, south-eastern China, this study compared the performance of two conceptual models (the hydrologic model (HYMOD) and Xinanjiang) and one process-based distributed model (the water and energy transfer between soil, plants and atmosphere model (WetSpa)) with different rain gauge distributions. The results show that the average accuracy for the three models is generally stable as the number of rain gauges decreases but is sensitive to changes in the network distribution. HYMOD has the highest calibration uncertainty, followed by Xinanjiang and WetSpa. Differing model responses are consistent with changes in network distribution, while calibration uncertainties are more related to model structures.
doi:10.3390/su10093209 fatcat:p2wwtvettraqlhbpsk4c6iuxz4