Evaluation of storage–discharge relationships and recession analysis-based distributed hourly runoff simulation in large-scale, mountainous and snow- influenced catchment
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonHydrological Sciences Journal. 2016, 61 (16), 2872-2886. 10.1080/02626667.2016.1170939
Evaluation of a recession-based “top-down” model for distributed hourly runoff simulation in macroscale mountainous catchments is rare in the literature. We evaluated such a model for a 3090 km2 boreal catchment and its internal sub-catchments. The main research question is how the model performs when parameters are either estimated from streamflow recession or obtained by calibration. The model reproduced observed streamflow hydrographs (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency up to 0.83) and flow duration curves. Transferability of parameters to the sub-catchments validates the performance of the model, and indicates an opportunity for prediction in ungauged sites. However, the cases of parameter estimation and calibration excluding the effects of runoff routing underestimate peak flows. The lower end of the recession and the minimum length of recession segments included are the main sources of uncertainty for parameter estimation. Despite the small number of calibrated parameters, the model is susceptible to parameter uncertainty and identifiability problems.