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Open AccessArticle

Uncertainty in the Number of Calibration Repetitions of a Hydrologic Model in Varying Climatic Conditions

1
Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 84104 Bratislava, Slovakia
2
Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Technische Universität Wien, Karlsplatz 13/223, 1040 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2362; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092362
Received: 9 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 19 August 2020 / Published: 23 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
The objective of this study is to examine the impact of the number of calibration repetitions on hydrologic model performance and parameter uncertainty in varying climatic conditions. The study is performed in a pristine alpine catchment in the Western Tatra Mountains (the Jalovecký Creek catchment, Slovakia) using daily data from the period 1989–2018. The entire data set has been divided into five 6-years long periods; the division was based on the wavelet analysis of precipitation, air temperature and runoff data. A lumped conceptual hydrologic model TUW (“Technische Universität Wien”) was calibrated by an automatic optimisation using the differential evolution algorithm approach. To test the effect of the number of calibrations in the optimisation procedure, we have conducted 10, 50, 100, 300, 500 repetitions of calibrations in each period and validated them against selected runoff and snow-related model efficiency criteria. The results showed that while the medians of different groups of calibration repetitions were similar, the ranges (max–min) of model efficiency criteria and parameter values differed. An increasing number of calibration repetitions tend to increase the ranges of model efficiency criteria during model validation, particularly for the runoff volume error and snow error, which were not directly used in model calibration. Comparison of model efficiencies in climate conditions that varied among the five periods documented changes in model performance in different periods but the difference between 10 and 500 calibration repetitions did not change much between the selected time periods. The results suggest that ten repetitions of model calibrations provided the same median of model efficiency criteria as a greater number of calibration repetitions and model parameter variability and uncertainty were smaller. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrological model uncertainties; optimisation of model parameters; climate change hydrological model uncertainties; optimisation of model parameters; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sleziak, P.; Holko, L.; Danko, M.; Parajka, J. Uncertainty in the Number of Calibration Repetitions of a Hydrologic Model in Varying Climatic Conditions. Water 2020, 12, 2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092362

AMA Style

Sleziak P, Holko L, Danko M, Parajka J. Uncertainty in the Number of Calibration Repetitions of a Hydrologic Model in Varying Climatic Conditions. Water. 2020; 12(9):2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092362

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sleziak, Patrik; Holko, Ladislav; Danko, Michal; Parajka, Juraj. 2020. "Uncertainty in the Number of Calibration Repetitions of a Hydrologic Model in Varying Climatic Conditions" Water 12, no. 9: 2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092362

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