Time-varying parameter models for catchments with land use change: the importance of model structure

Pathiraja, Sahani; Anghileri, Daniela; Burlando, Paolo; Sharma, Ashish; Marshall, Lucy; Moradkhani, Hamid

Rapid population and economic growth in Southeast Asia has been accompanied by extensive land use change with consequent impacts on catchment hydrology. Modeling methodologies capable of handling changing land use conditions are therefore becoming ever more important and are receiving increasing attention from hydrologists. A recently developed data-assimilation-based framework that allows model parameters to vary through time in response to signals of change in observations is considered for a medium-sized catchment (2880‚ÄČkminline-formula2) in northern Vietnam experiencing substantial but gradual land cover change. We investigate the efficacy of the method as well as the importance of the chosen model structure in ensuring the success of a time-varying parameter method. The method was used with two lumped daily conceptual models (HBV and HyMOD) that gave good-quality streamflow predictions during pre-change conditions. Although both time-varying parameter models gave improved streamflow predictions under changed conditions compared to the time-invariant parameter model, persistent biases for low flows were apparent in the HyMOD case. It was found that HyMOD was not suited to representing the modified baseflow conditions, resulting in extreme and unrealistic time-varying parameter estimates. This work shows that the chosen model can be critical for ensuring the time-varying parameter framework successfully models streamflow under changing land cover conditions. It can also be used to determine whether land cover changes (and not just meteorological factors) contribute to the observed hydrologic changes in retrospective studies where the lack of a paired control catchment precludes such an assessment.



Pathiraja, Sahani / Anghileri, Daniela / Burlando, Paolo / et al: Time-varying parameter models for catchments with land use change: the importance of model structure. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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