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Open AccessArticle

Sensitivity Analysis to Investigate the Reliability of the Grid-Based Rainfall-Runoff Model

Water Resources Research Team, Jeju Province Development Corporation, Namjo-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do 1717-35, Korea
Water Resources & River Research Institute, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, Goyang-daero, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 283, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1839;
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS-Based Hydrology and Water Quality Modeling)
PDF [4221 KB, uploaded 12 December 2018]


This study aimed to assess the suitability of the parameters of a physically based, distributed, grid-based rainfall-runoff model. We analyzed parameter sensitivity with a dataset of eight rainfall events that occurred in two catchments of South Korea, using the Sobol’ method. Parameters identified as sensitive responded adequately to the scale of the rainfall events and the objective functions employed. Parameter sensitivity varied depending on rainfall scale, even in the same catchment. Interestingly, for a rainfall event causing considerable runoff, parameters related to initial soil saturation and soil water movement played a significant role in low flow calculation and high flow calculation, respectively. The larger and steeper catchment exhibited a greater difference in parameter sensitivity between rainfall events. Finally, we found that setting an incorrect parameter range that is physically impossible can have a large impact on runoff simulation, leading to substantial uncertainty in the simulation results. The proposed analysis method and the results from our study can help researchers using a distributed rainfall-runoff model produce more reliable analysis results. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed rainfall-runoff model; parameter sensitivity analysis; parameter range selection distributed rainfall-runoff model; parameter sensitivity analysis; parameter range selection

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Shin, M.-J.; Choi, Y.S. Sensitivity Analysis to Investigate the Reliability of the Grid-Based Rainfall-Runoff Model. Water 2018, 10, 1839.

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