Browsing Hydrology & Water Resources Technical Reports by Subjects
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Basin Scale and Runoff Model ComplexityDistributed Rainfall-Runoff models are gaining widespread acceptance; yet, a fundamental issue that must be addressed by all users of these models is definition of an acceptable level of watershed discretization (geometric model complexity). The level of geometric model complexity is a function of basin and climatic scales as well as the availability of input and verification data. Equilibrium discharge storage is employed to develop a quantitative methodology to define a level of geometric model complexity commensurate with a specified level of model performance. Equilibrium storage ratios are used to define the transition from overland to channel -dominated flow response. The methodology is tested on four subcatchments in the USDA -ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed in Southeastern Arizona. The catchments cover a range of basins scales of over three orders of magnitude. This enabled a unique assessment of watershed response behavior as a function of basin scale. High quality, distributed, rainfall -runoff data was used to verify the model (KINEROSR). Excellent calibration and verification results provided confidence in subsequent model interpretations regarding watershed response behavior. An average elementary channel support area of roughly 15% of the total basin area is shown to provide a watershed discretization level that maintains model performance for basins ranging in size from 1.5 to 631 hectares. Detailed examination of infiltration, including the role and impacts of incorporating small scale infiltration variability in a distribution sense, into KINEROSR, over a range of soils and climatic scales was also addressed. The impacts of infiltration and channel losses on runoff response increase with increasing watershed scale as the relative influence of storms is diminished in a semiarid environment such as Walnut Gulch. In this semiarid environment, characterized by ephemeral streams, watershed runoff response does not become more linear with increasing watershed scale but appears to become more nonlinear.
CALIBRATION OF RAINFALL-RUNOFF MODELS USING GRADIENT-BASED ALGORITHMS AND ANALYTIC DERIVATIVESIn the past, derivative-based optimization algorithms have not frequently been used to calibrate conceptual rainfall -riff (CRR) models, partially due to difficulties associated with obtaining the required derivatives. This research applies a recently- developed technique of analytically computing derivatives of a CRR model to a complex, widely -used CRR model. The resulting least squares response surface was found to contain numerous discontinuities in the surface and derivatives. However, the surface and its derivatives were found to be everywhere finite, permitting the use of derivative -based optimization algorithms. Finite difference numeric derivatives were computed and found to be virtually identical to analytic derivatives. A comparison was made between gradient (Newton- Raphsoz) and direct (pattern search) optimization algorithms. The pattern search algorithm was found to be more robust. The lower robustness of the Newton-Raphsoi algorithm was thought to be due to discontinuities and a rough texture of the response surface.