Remote sensing-aided large-scale rainfall-runoff modelling in the humid tropics [post]

Saúl Arciniega-Esparza, Christian Birkel, Andrés Chavarría-Palma, Berit Arheimer, Agustín Breña-Naranjo
2021 unpublished
Abstract. Streamflow simulation across the tropics is limited by the lack of data to calibrate and validate large-scale hydrological models. Here, we applied the process-based, conceptual HYPE (Hydrological Predictions for the Environment) model to quantitively assess Costa Rica's water resources at a national scale. Data scarcity was compensated using adjusted global topography and remotely-sensed climate products to force, calibrate, and independently evaluate the model. We used a global
more » ... rature product and bias-corrected precipitation from CHIRPS (Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data) as model forcings. Daily streamflow from 13 gauges for the period 1990–2003 and monthly MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) potential evapotranspiration (PET) and actual evapotranspiration (AET) for the period 2000–2014 were used to calibrate and evaluate the model applying four different model configurations. The calibration consisted in step-wise parameter constraints preserving the best parameter sets from previous simulations in an attempt to balance the variable data availability and time periods. The model configurations were independently evaluated using hydrological signatures such as the baseflow index, runoff coefficient, and aridity index, among others. Results suggested that a two-step calibration using monthly and daily streamflow was a better option instead of calibrating only with daily streamflow. Additionally, including PET and AET in the calibration improved the simulated water balance and better matched hydrological signatures. Thus, the constrained parameter uncertainty increased the confidence in the simulation results. Such a large-scale hydrological model has the potential to be used operationally across the humid tropics informing decision making at relatively high spatial and temporal resolution.
doi:10.5194/hess-2021-428 fatcat:cdjiicaxkjbwxgmq76llt2icvm