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Identifying a Suitable Model for Low-Flow Simulation in Watersheds of South-Central Chile: A Study Based on a Sensitivity Analysis

1
Department of Water Resources, Universidad de Concepción, Chillán 3812120, Chile
2
Centro Fondap CRHIAM, Concepción 4070411, Chile
3
Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción 4090541, Chile
4
Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Ambientes Sustentables CIBAS, Concepción 4090541, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071506
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrologic Modelling for Water Resources and River Basin Management)
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Abstract

Choosing a model that suitably represents the characteristics of a watershed to simulate low flows is crucial, especially in watersheds whose main source of baseflow generation depends on groundwater storage and release. The goal of this investigation is to study the performance and representativeness of storage-release process modeling, considering aspects such as the topography and geology of the modeled watershed through regional sensitivity analysis, in order to improve low-flow prediction. To this end, four groundwater storage-release structures in various watersheds with different geological (fractured and sedimentary rock) and topographic domains (steep and gentle slopes) were analyzed. The results suggest that the two-reservoir structure with three runoff responses is suitable (better) for simulating low flows in watersheds with fractured geological characteristics and rugged or steep topography. The results also indicate that a one-reservoir model can be adequate for predicting low flows in watersheds with a sedimentary influence or flat topography. View Full-Text
Keywords: modeling; sensitivity analysis; groundwater storage-discharge modeling; sensitivity analysis; groundwater storage-discharge
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Parra, V.; Arumí, J.L.; Muñoz, E. Identifying a Suitable Model for Low-Flow Simulation in Watersheds of South-Central Chile: A Study Based on a Sensitivity Analysis. Water 2019, 11, 1506.

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