Introducing Iterative Model Calibration (IMC) v1.0: A Generalizable Framework for Numerical Model Calibration with a CAESAR-Lisflood Case Study

Banerjee, Chayan; Nguyen, Kien; Fookes, Clinton; Hancock, Gregory; Coulthard, Thomas

In geosciences, including hydrology and geomorphology, the reliance on numerical models necessitates the precise calibration of their parameters to effectively translate information from observed to unobserved settings. Traditional calibration techniques, however, are marked by poor generalizability, demanding significant manual labor for data preparation and the calibration process itself. Moreover, the utility of machine learning-based and data-driven approaches is curtailed by the requirement for the numerical model to be differentiable for optimization purposes, which challenges their generalizability across different models. Furthermore, the potential of freely available geomorphological data remains underexploited in existing methodologies. In response to these challenges, we introduce a generalizable framework for calibrating numerical models, with a particular focus on geomorphological models, named Iterative Model Calibration (IMC). This approach efficiently identifies the optimal set of parameters for a given numerical model through a strategy based on a Gaussian neighborhood algorithm. We demonstrate the efficacy of IMC by applying it to the calibration of the widely-used Landscape Evolution Model, CAESAR-Lisflood, achieving high precision. Once calibrated, this model is capable of generating geomorphic data for both retrospective and prospective analyses at various temporal resolutions, and retrospective and prospective analyses at various temporal resolutions, specifically tailored for scenarios such as gully catchment landscape evolution.

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Banerjee, Chayan / Nguyen, Kien / Fookes, Clinton / et al: Introducing Iterative Model Calibration (IMC) v1.0: A Generalizable Framework for Numerical Model Calibration with a CAESAR-Lisflood Case Study. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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