Journal article

Development of regionalized hydrological models in an area with short hydrological observation series

High spatio-temporal resolution monitoring has only been progressively developed in the Rhine–Meuse basins over the last few decades. As a consequence, basic hydrological information can be very scarce in some areas. In regions which are homogeneous from a hydroclimatological and physiogeographical point of view, hydrographs can be reproduced via regionalized hydrological models, provided that climatological observation series are available. The Alzette river basin, monitored since the mid-1990s by a very dense hydroclimatological observation network, had been chosen in the framework of the IRMA-SPONGE project FRHYMAP for transposing the conceptual hydrological models HRM and SOCONT and regionalizing their parameters. The regionalized models were to be used both for extending the currently available runoff series and evaluating runoff in neighbouring non-monitored basins. The 16 monitored sub-basins of the Alzette, reflecting the physiogeographical diversity of the study area, were divided into two subsets, serving for both the calibration and the validation procedures. Once the transposition of the models to the Alzette basin had been successfully assessed, their parameters were linked to the physiogeographical characteristics of the sub-basins. The performance of the thus regionalized models was assessed via a validation on a subset of basins that had not been retained for the elaboration of the regional parameter sets. The transposition of the HRM and SOCONT model to the Alzette river basin was completed successfully. Results overall proved to be satisfying, with the HRM model performing equally well for low flows and high flows, while the SOCONT model showed best results for high flows and a systematic overestimation of the mean discharge. Both models proved to be adequate for evaluating daily runoff in non-monitored basins of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, helping thus to counterbalance the considerable lack of hydrological observation series in this part of the Rhine basin.


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