Presenter/Author Information

M. Bruen
E. Mockler

Keywords

flexible hydrological model, collaboration, flexible network, pathways, ireland

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

Distributed or semi-distributed models are usually cascades of lumped models, each with an identical structure. This, classical, approach has a number of drawbacks; (i) each lumped model must be sufficiently general and thus complex to cope with the range of hydrological situations possible and (ii) it precludes debate and discussion between scientists about the most appropriate model conceptualisation and in particular it precludes using different conceptualisations in different areas to adapt the model to different hydrologic regimes, perhaps even in the same catchment. Both of these lead to distributed models that are unnecessarily complex and over-parameterised with consequent implications for parameter estimation. The rigid, fixed, structure also adds to the difficulty in modelling specific pollution mitigation measures at scales smaller than the catchment model. A hydrological model that has a flexible and variable structure has been developed to address these issues. Based on a network structure, the model allows scientists to discuss and alter the catchment hydraulic connectivity, incorporating personal knowledge as well as field experience and to change the degree of complexity used to model individual processes. In particular, knowledge of subsurface materials and hydraulic connections can be incorporated into the model structure. As the water quality component is still in development, the case study here focuses on investigating the hydrology in a karst catchment in the West of Ireland.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

A variable-structure catchment model as the engine for a water quality decision support tool facilitating scientific debate and collaboration.

Distributed or semi-distributed models are usually cascades of lumped models, each with an identical structure. This, classical, approach has a number of drawbacks; (i) each lumped model must be sufficiently general and thus complex to cope with the range of hydrological situations possible and (ii) it precludes debate and discussion between scientists about the most appropriate model conceptualisation and in particular it precludes using different conceptualisations in different areas to adapt the model to different hydrologic regimes, perhaps even in the same catchment. Both of these lead to distributed models that are unnecessarily complex and over-parameterised with consequent implications for parameter estimation. The rigid, fixed, structure also adds to the difficulty in modelling specific pollution mitigation measures at scales smaller than the catchment model. A hydrological model that has a flexible and variable structure has been developed to address these issues. Based on a network structure, the model allows scientists to discuss and alter the catchment hydraulic connectivity, incorporating personal knowledge as well as field experience and to change the degree of complexity used to model individual processes. In particular, knowledge of subsurface materials and hydraulic connections can be incorporated into the model structure. As the water quality component is still in development, the case study here focuses on investigating the hydrology in a karst catchment in the West of Ireland.