Selection of catchment descriptors for the physical similarity approach. Part II: Application

https://doi.org/10.17221/23/2012-SWRCitation:Heřmanovský M., Pech P. (2013): Selection of catchment descriptors for the physical similarity approach. Part II: Application. Soil & Water Res., 8: 186-194.
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This paper demonstrates an application of the previously published method for selection of optimal catchment descriptors, according to which similar catchments can be identified for the purpose of estimation of the Sacramento – Soil Moisture Accounting (SAC-SMA) model parameters for a set of tested catchments, based on the physical similarity approach. For the purpose of the analysis, the following data from the Model Parameter Estimation Experiment (MOPEX) project were taken: a priori model parameter sets used as reference values for comparison with the newly estimated parameters, and catchment descriptors of four categories (climatic descriptors, soil properties, land cover and catchment morphology). The inverse clustering method, with Andrews’ curves for a homogeneity check, was used for the catchment grouping process. The optimal catchment descriptors were selected on the basis of two criteria, one comparing different subsets of catchment descriptors of the same size (MIN), the other one evaluating the improvement after addition of another catchment descriptor (MAX). The results suggest that the proposed method and the two criteria used may lead to the selection of a subset of conditionally optimal catchment descriptors from a broader set of them. As expected, the quality of the resulting subset of optimal catchment descriptors is mainly dependent on the number and type of the descriptors in the broader set. In the presented case study, six to seven catchment descriptors (two climatic, two soil and at least two land-cover descriptors) were identified as optimal for regionalisation of the SAC-SMA model parameters for a set of MOPEX catchments.
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