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Article

Time Variant Sensitivity Analysis of Hydrological Model Parameters in a Cold Region Using Flow Signatures

1
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, MB R3T 5V6, Canada
2
Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(4), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040961
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 23 March 2020 / Accepted: 26 March 2020 / Published: 28 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whither Cold Regions Hydrology under Changing Climate Conditions)
The complex terrain, seasonality, and cold region hydrology of the Nelson Churchill River Basin (NCRB) presents a formidable challenge for hydrological modeling, which complicates the calibration of model parameters. Seasonality leads to different hydrological processes dominating at different times of the year, which translates to time variant sensitivity in model parameters. In this study, Hydrological Predictions for the Environment model (HYPE) is set up in the NCRB to analyze the time variant sensitivity analysis (TVSA) of model parameters using a Global Sensitivity Analysis technique known as Variogram Analysis of Response Surfaces (VARS). TVSA can identify parameters that are highly influential in a short period but relatively uninfluential over the whole simulation period. TVSA is generally effective in identifying model’s sensitivity to event-based parameters related to cold region processes such as snowmelt and frozen soil. This can guide event-based calibration, useful for operational flood forecasting. In contrast to residual based metrics, flow signatures, specifically the slope of the mid-segment of the flow duration curve, allows VARS to detect the influential parameters throughout the timescale of analysis. The results are beneficial for the calibration process in complex and multi-dimensional models by targeting the informative parameters, which are associated with the cold region hydrological processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrological modeling; cold region processes; non-stationarity; variogram analysis of response surfaces; time variant sensitivity analysis hydrological modeling; cold region processes; non-stationarity; variogram analysis of response surfaces; time variant sensitivity analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bajracharya, A.; Awoye, H.; Stadnyk, T.; Asadzadeh, M. Time Variant Sensitivity Analysis of Hydrological Model Parameters in a Cold Region Using Flow Signatures. Water 2020, 12, 961. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040961

AMA Style

Bajracharya A, Awoye H, Stadnyk T, Asadzadeh M. Time Variant Sensitivity Analysis of Hydrological Model Parameters in a Cold Region Using Flow Signatures. Water. 2020; 12(4):961. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040961

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bajracharya, Ajay, Hervé Awoye, Tricia Stadnyk, and Masoud Asadzadeh. 2020. "Time Variant Sensitivity Analysis of Hydrological Model Parameters in a Cold Region Using Flow Signatures" Water 12, no. 4: 961. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040961

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