Assessing River Low-Flow Uncertainties Related to Hydrological Model Calibration and Structure under Climate Change Conditions
AbstractLow-flow is the flow of water in a river during prolonged dry weather. This paper investigated the uncertainty originating from hydrological model calibration and structure in low-flow simulations under climate change conditions. Two hydrological models of contrasting complexity, GR4J and SWAT, were applied to four sub-watersheds of the Yamaska River, Canada. The two models were calibrated using seven different objective functions including the Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient (NSEQ) and six other objective functions more related to low flows. The uncertainty in the model parameters was evaluated using a PARAmeter SOLutions procedure (PARASOL). Twelve climate projections from different combinations of General Circulation Models (GCMs) and Regional Circulation Models (RCMs) were used to simulate low-flow indices in a reference (1970–2000) and future (2040–2070) horizon. Results indicate that the NSEQ objective function does not properly represent low-flow indices for either model. The NSE objective function applied to the log of the flows shows the lowest total variance for all sub-watersheds. In addition, these hydrological models should be used with care for low-flow studies, since they both show some inconsistent results. The uncertainty is higher for SWAT than for GR4J. With GR4J, the uncertainties in the simulations for the 7Q2 index (the 7-day low-flow value with a 2-year return period) are lower for the future period than for the reference period. This can be explained by the analysis of hydrological processes. In the future horizon, a significant worsening of low-flow conditions was projected. View Full-Text
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Trudel, M.; Doucet-Généreux, P.-L.; Leconte, R. Assessing River Low-Flow Uncertainties Related to Hydrological Model Calibration and Structure under Climate Change Conditions. Climate 2017, 5, 19.
Trudel M, Doucet-Généreux P-L, Leconte R. Assessing River Low-Flow Uncertainties Related to Hydrological Model Calibration and Structure under Climate Change Conditions. Climate. 2017; 5(1):19.Chicago/Turabian Style
Trudel, Mélanie; Doucet-Généreux, Pierre-Louis; Leconte, Robert. 2017. "Assessing River Low-Flow Uncertainties Related to Hydrological Model Calibration and Structure under Climate Change Conditions." Climate 5, no. 1: 19.
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