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Seasonal drought prediction for semiarid northeast Brazil

  • The semiarid northeast of Brazil is one of the most densely populated dryland regions in the world and recurrently affected by severe droughts. Thus, reliable seasonal forecasts of streamflow and reservoir storage are of high value for water managers. Such forecasts can be generated by applying either hydrological models representing underlying processes or statistical relationships exploiting correlations among meteorological and hydrological variables. This work evaluates and compares the performances of seasonal reservoir storage forecasts derived by a process-based hydrological model and a statistical approach. Driven by observations, both models achieve similar simulation accuracies. In a hindcast experiment, however, the accuracy of estimating regional reservoir storages was considerably lower using the process-based hydrological model, whereas the resolution and reliability of drought event predictions were similar by both approaches. Further investigations regarding the deficiencies of the process-based model revealed aThe semiarid northeast of Brazil is one of the most densely populated dryland regions in the world and recurrently affected by severe droughts. Thus, reliable seasonal forecasts of streamflow and reservoir storage are of high value for water managers. Such forecasts can be generated by applying either hydrological models representing underlying processes or statistical relationships exploiting correlations among meteorological and hydrological variables. This work evaluates and compares the performances of seasonal reservoir storage forecasts derived by a process-based hydrological model and a statistical approach. Driven by observations, both models achieve similar simulation accuracies. In a hindcast experiment, however, the accuracy of estimating regional reservoir storages was considerably lower using the process-based hydrological model, whereas the resolution and reliability of drought event predictions were similar by both approaches. Further investigations regarding the deficiencies of the process-based model revealed a significant influence of antecedent wetness conditions and a higher sensitivity of model prediction performance to rainfall forecast quality. Within the scope of this study, the statistical model proved to be the more straightforward approach for predictions of reservoir level and drought events at regionally and monthly aggregated scales. However, for forecasts at finer scales of space and time or for the investigation of underlying processes, the costly initialisation and application of a process-based model can be worthwhile. Furthermore, the application of innovative data products, such as remote sensing data, and operational model correction methods, like data assimilation, may allow for an enhanced exploitation of the advanced capabilities of process-based hydrological models.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Tobias PilzORCiD, José Miguel DelgadoORCiDGND, Sebastian Voss, Klaus VormoorGND, Till Francke, Alexandre Cunha Costa, Eduardo Martins, Axel BronstertORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1951-2019
ISSN:1027-5606
ISSN:1607-7938
Parent Title (German):Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Subtitle (English):what is the added value of a process-based hydrological model?
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Place of publication:Göttingen
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/04/11
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2019/04/26
Tag:Climate; Connectivity; Forecasting Framework; Jaguaribe Basin; Precipitation; Reservoir Networks; Sediment Transport; Uncertainty Processor; Water Availability
Nordeste
Volume:23
Pagenumber:21
First Page:1951
Last Page:1971
Funder:Universität Potsdam
Grant Number:PA 2019_34
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert
Grantor:Publikationsfonds der Universität Potsdam
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 702