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Article

Conceptual Model Modification and the Millennium Drought of Southeastern Australia

1
CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
2
CSIRO Land and Water, Clayton South, VIC 3169, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Glen R. Walker
Water 2021, 13(5), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050669
Received: 7 January 2021 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 21 February 2021 / Published: 1 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Water Assessment and Management under Climate Change)
Long-term droughts observed in southern Australia have changed relationships between annual rainfall and runoff and tested some of the assumptions implicit in rainfall–runoff models used in these areas. Predictive confidence across these periods is when low using the more commonly used rainfall–runoff models. Here we modified the GR4J model to better represent surface water–groundwater connection and its role in runoff generation. The modified model (GR7J) was tested in 137 catchments in south-east Australia. Models were calibrated during “wetter” periods and simulation across drought periods was assessed against observations. GR7J performed better than GR4J in evaluation during drought periods where bias was significantly lower and showed improved fit across the flow duration curve especially at low flows. The largest improvements in predictive performance were for catchments where there were larger changes in the annual rainfall–runoff relationship. The predictive performance of the GR7J model was more sensitive to objective function used than GR4J. The use of an objective function that combined daily and annual error produced a better goodness of fit when measured against 80, 50 and 20 percent excedance flow quantiles and reduced evaluation bias, especially for the GR7J model. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; rainfall–runoff model; non-stationarity; groundwater–surface water connection; objective functions drought; rainfall–runoff model; non-stationarity; groundwater–surface water connection; objective functions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hughes, J.; Potter, N.; Zhang, L.; Bridgart, R. Conceptual Model Modification and the Millennium Drought of Southeastern Australia. Water 2021, 13, 669. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050669

AMA Style

Hughes J, Potter N, Zhang L, Bridgart R. Conceptual Model Modification and the Millennium Drought of Southeastern Australia. Water. 2021; 13(5):669. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050669

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hughes, Justin, Nick Potter, Lu Zhang, and Robert Bridgart. 2021. "Conceptual Model Modification and the Millennium Drought of Southeastern Australia" Water 13, no. 5: 669. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050669

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