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The Periodic Response of Tidal Flat Sediments to Runoff Variation of Upstream Main River: A Case Study in the Liaohe Estuary Wetland, China
Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Long Short Term Memory Networks and the Hydrological Model in Runoff Simulation

by Hongxiang Fan 1,2, Mingliang Jiang 1,2, Ligang Xu 1,2,3,*, Hua Zhu 1,2, Junxiang Cheng 1,2 and Jiahu Jiang 1,2
Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 21008, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
China Three Gorges Corporation, Eco-Environmental Engineering Research Center, Beijing 100038, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 175;
Received: 2 December 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2020 / Published: 8 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wetland Ecohydrology and Water Resource Management)
Runoff modeling is one of the key challenges in the field of hydrology. Various approaches exist, ranging from physically based over conceptual to fully data driven models. In this paper, we propose a data driven approach using the state-of-the-art Long-Short-Term-Memory (LSTM) network. The proposed model was applied in the Poyang Lake Basin (PYLB) and its performance was compared with an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). We first tested the impacts of the number of previous time step (window size) in simulation accuracy. Results showed that a window in improper large size will dramatically deteriorate the model performance. In terms of PYLB, a window size of 15 days might be appropriate for both accuracy and computational efficiency. We then trained the model with 2 different input datasets, namely, dataset with precipitation only and dataset with all available meteorological variables. Results demonstrate that although LSTM with precipitation data as the only input can achieve desirable results (where the NSE ranged from 0.60 to 0.92 for the test period), the performance can be improved simply by feeding the model with more meteorological variables (where NSE ranged from 0.74 to 0.94 for the test period). Moreover, the comparison results with the ANN and the SWAT showed that the ANN can get comparable performance with the SWAT in most cases whereas the performance of LSTM is much better. The results of this study underline the potential of the LSTM for runoff modeling especially for areas where detailed topographical data are not available. View Full-Text
Keywords: LSTM; runoff simulation; Poyang Lake Basin; deep learning LSTM; runoff simulation; Poyang Lake Basin; deep learning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fan, H.; Jiang, M.; Xu, L.; Zhu, H.; Cheng, J.; Jiang, J. Comparison of Long Short Term Memory Networks and the Hydrological Model in Runoff Simulation. Water 2020, 12, 175.

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