Journal article

A conceptual glacio-hydrological model for high mountainous catchments

In high mountainous catchments, the spatial precipitation and therefore the overall water balance is generally difficult to estimate. The present paper describes the structure and calibration of a semi-lumped conceptual glaciohydrological model for the joint simulation of daily discharge and annual glacier mass balance that represents a better integrator of the water balance. The model has been developed for climate change impact studies and has therefore a parsimonious structure; it requires three input times series – precipitation, temperature and potential evapotranspiration – and has 7 parameters to calibrate. A multi-signal approach considering daily discharge and – if available – annual glacier mass balance has been developed for the calibration of these parameters. The model has been calibrated for three different catchments in the Swiss Alps having glaciation rates between 37% and 52%. It simulates well the observed daily discharge, the hydrological regime and some basic glaciological features, such as the annual mass balance.

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