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Prediction uncertainty of conceptual rainfall-runoff models caused by problems in identifying model parameters and structure
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
1999 (English)In: Hydrological Sciences Journal, ISSN 0262-6667, E-ISSN 2150-3435, Vol. 44, no 5, 779-797 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The uncertainties arising from the problem of identifying a representative model structure and model parameters in a conceptual rainfall-runoff model were investigated. A conceptual model, the HBV model; was applied to the mountainous Brugga basin (39.9 km(2)) in the Black Forest, southwestern Germany. In a first step, a Monte Carlo procedure with randomly generated parameter sets was used for calibration. For a ten-year calibration period, different parameter sets resulted in an equally good correspondence between observed and simulated runoff. A few parameters were well defined (i.e, best parameter values were within small ranges), but for most parameters good simulations were found with values varying over wide ranges. In a second step, model variants with different numbers of elevation and landuse zones and various runoff generation conceptualizations were tested. In some cases, representation of more spatial variability gave better simulations in term of discharge. However, good results could be obtained with different and even unrealistic concepts. The computation of design floods and low flow predictions illustrated that the parameter uncertainty and the uncertainty of identifying a unique best model variant have implications for model predictions. The flow predictions varied considerably. The peak discharge of a flood with a probability of 0.01 year(-1), for instance, varied from 40 to almost 60 mm day(-1). It was concluded that model predictions, particularly in applied studies, should be given as ranges rather than as single values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 44, no 5, 779-797 p.
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-140521ISI: 000083080600009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-140521DiVA: diva2:383737
Available from: 2011-01-05 Created: 2011-01-05 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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