Use of a parsimonious rainfall-run-off model for predicting hydrological response in ungauged basins
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A new parameter parsimonious rainfall–run-off model, the Distance Distribution Dynamics (DDD) model, is used to simulate hydrological time series at ungauged sites in the Lygne basin in Norway. The model parameters were estimated as functions of catchment characteristics determined by geographical information system. The multiple regression equations relating catchment characteristics and model parameters were trained from 84 calibrated catchments located all over Norway, and all model parameters showed significant correlations with catchment characteristics. The significant correlation coefficients (with p-value < 0.05) ranged from 0.22 to 0.55. The suitability of DDD for predictions in ungauged basins was tested for 17 catchments not used to estimate the multiple regression equations. For ten of the 17 catchments, deviations in Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) criteria between the calibrated and regionalised model were less than 0.1, and for two calibrated catchments within the Lygne basin, the deviations were less than 0.08. The median NSE for the regionalized DDD for the 17 catchments for two time series was 0.66 and 0.72. Deviations in NSE between calibrated and regionalised models are well explained by the deviations between calibrated and regressed parameters describing spatial snow distribution and snowmelt respectively. The quality of the simulated run-off series for the ungauged sites in the Lygne basin was assessed by comparing flow indices describing high, medium and low flow estimated from observed run-off at the 17 catchments and for the simulated run-off series. The indices estimated for the simulated series were generally well within the ranges defined by the 17 observed series.