Hydrological modelling under climate change considering nonstationarity and seasonal effects

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Traditional hydrological modelling assumes that the catchment does not change with time. However, due to changes of climate and catchment conditions, this stationarity assumption may not be valid in the future. It is a challenge to make the hydrological model adaptive to the future climate and catchment conditions. In this study IHACRES, a conceptual rainfall–runoff model, is applied to a catchment in southwest England. Long observation data (1961–2008) are used and seasonal calibration (only the summer) has been done since there are significant seasonal rainfall patterns. Initially, the calibration is based on changing the model parameters with time by adapting the parameters using the step forward and backward selection schemes. However, in the validation, both models do not work well. The problem is that the regression with time is not reliable since the trend may not be in a monotonic linear relationship with time. Therefore, a new scheme is explored. Only one parameter is selected for adjustment while the other parameters are set as the fixed and the regression of one optimised parameter is made not only against time but climate condition. The result shows that this nonstationary model works well both in the calibration and validation periods.

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