Picturing and modeling catchments by representative hillslopes

  • This study explores the suitability of a single hillslope as a parsimonious representation of a catchment in a physically based model. We test this hypothesis by picturing two distinctly different catchments in perceptual models and translating these pictures into parametric setups of 2-D physically based hillslope models. The model parametrizations are based on a comprehensive field data set, expert knowledge and process-based reasoning. Evaluation against streamflow data highlights that both models predicted the annual pattern of streamflow generation as well as the hydrographs acceptably. However, a look beyond performance measures revealed deficiencies in streamflow simulations during the summer season and during individual rainfall-runoff events as well as a mismatch between observed and simulated soil water dynamics. Some of these shortcomings can be related to our perception of the systems and to the chosen hydrological model, while others point to limitations of the representative hillslope concept itself. Nevertheless, ourThis study explores the suitability of a single hillslope as a parsimonious representation of a catchment in a physically based model. We test this hypothesis by picturing two distinctly different catchments in perceptual models and translating these pictures into parametric setups of 2-D physically based hillslope models. The model parametrizations are based on a comprehensive field data set, expert knowledge and process-based reasoning. Evaluation against streamflow data highlights that both models predicted the annual pattern of streamflow generation as well as the hydrographs acceptably. However, a look beyond performance measures revealed deficiencies in streamflow simulations during the summer season and during individual rainfall-runoff events as well as a mismatch between observed and simulated soil water dynamics. Some of these shortcomings can be related to our perception of the systems and to the chosen hydrological model, while others point to limitations of the representative hillslope concept itself. Nevertheless, our results confirm that representative hillslope models are a suitable tool to assess the importance of different data sources as well as to challenge our perception of the dominant hydrological processes we want to represent therein. Consequently, these models are a promising step forward in the search for the optimal representation of catchments in physically based models.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Ralf LoritzORCiD, Sibylle K. HasslerORCiD, Conrad JackischORCiD, Niklas AllroggenORCiDGND, Loes van SchaikORCiDGND, Jan WienhöferORCiD, Erwin Zehe
DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-1225-2017
ISSN:1027-5606
ISSN:1607-7938
Title of parent work (English):Hydrology and earth system sciences : HESS
Publisher:Copernicus
Place of publishing:Göttingen
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2017/03/01
Publication year:2017
Release date:2022/06/23
Volume:21
Issue:2
Number of pages:25
First page:1225
Last Page:1249
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geowissenschaften
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer review:Referiert
License (German):License LogoCC BY - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
External remark:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 635
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