Multiple-criteria calibration of a distributed watershed model using spatial regularization and response signatures

Pokhrel, Prafulla
Yılmaz, Koray Kamil
Gupta, Hoshin V.
This paper explores the use of a semi-automated multiple-criteria calibration approach for estimating the parameters of the spatially distributed HL-DHM model to the Blue River basin, Oklahoma. The study was performed in the context of Phase 2 of the DMIP project organized by the Hydrology Lab of the NWS. To deal with the problem of ill conditioning, we employ a regularization approach that constrains the search space using information contained in a priori estimates of the spatially distributed parameter fields developed from soils and other geo-spatial datasets. Unlike the commonly used spatial-multiplier method, our more general approach allows the parameters to depart non-uniformly (to some degree) from the a priori spatial pattern. The approach reduces the number of unknowns to be estimated using historical input-output data from 860 to 35. Two commonly used summary statistics of the model residuals, MSE and MSEL, are used to optimize fitting of the model to both the peaks and the recession periods of the time series data. A signature measure approach is used to select parameter sets that are close to Pareto-optimal in terms of MSE and MSEL, but which provide more consistent representation of the hydrologic behavior of the watershed as summarized by measures derived from the flow duration curve. While the results support the methods used in this analysis and show considerable improvement over the a priori parameter estimates, we find that the basin has some peculiar behaviors (including time non-stationarity) that the HL-DHM model as implemented is not set up to reproduce.


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Regional evapotranspiration (ET) can be estimated using diagnostic remote sensing models, generally based on principles of energy balance closure, or with spatially distributed prognostic models that simultaneously balance both energy and water budgets over landscapes using predictive equations for land surface temperature and moisture states. Each modeling approach has complementary advantages and disadvantages, and in combination they can be used to obtain more accurate ET estimates over a variety of land...
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Accuracy assessment of precipitation retrievals is a pre-requisite for many hydrological studies as it helps to understand the source and the magnitude of the uncertainty in hydrological response variables, particularly over regions with complex topography. This study evaluates GPM IMERGv05, TMPA 3B42V7, ERA-Interim, and ERA5 precipitation products using 256 ground-based gauge stations between 2014 and 2018 over Turkey known to have complex topography and varying climate. Error statistics, categorical perfo...
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Characterizing the spatio-temporal distribution of groundwater-surface water (GW-SW) exchange fluxes is of paramount importance in understanding catchment behavior. A wide range of field-based techniques are available for such characterization. The objective of this study is to quantify the spatio-temporal distribution of the exchange fluxes along the cakit stream (Nigde, Turkey) through coupling a set of geophysical techniques and in-stream measurements in a hierarchical manner. First, geological and water...
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Yılmaz, Koray Kamil; Wagener, Thorsten (American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2008-09-11)
Distributed hydrological models have the potential to provide improved streamflow forecasts along the entire channel network, while also simulating the spatial dynamics of evapotranspiration, soil moisture content, water quality, soil erosion, and land use change impacts. However, they are perceived as being difficult to parameterize and evaluate, thus translating into significant predictive uncertainty in the model results. Although a priori parameter estimates derived from observable watershed characteris...
Modeling biogeochemical processes in subterranean estuaries: Effect of flow dynamics and redox conditions on submarine groundwater discharge of nutrients
Spiteri, Claudette; Slomp, Caroline P.; Tuncay, Kağan; Meile, Christof (American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2008-02-22)
[1] A two-dimensional density-dependent reactive transport model, which couples groundwater flow and biogeochemical reactions, is used to investigate the fate of nutrients (NO(3)(-), NH(4)(+), and PO(4)) in idealized subterranean estuaries representing four end-members of oxic/anoxic aquifer and seawater redox conditions. Results from the simplified model representations show that the prevalent flow characteristics and redox conditions in the freshwater-seawater mixing zone determine the extent of nutrient ...
Citation Formats
P. Pokhrel, K. K. Yılmaz, and H. V. Gupta, “Multiple-criteria calibration of a distributed watershed model using spatial regularization and response signatures,” JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, pp. 49–60, 2012, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: