EGU Leonardo Topical Conference Series on the hydrological cycle 2010, Luxembourg, November 10 – 12, 2010_1

Additional data sources and model structure: help or hindrance?

Semenova O.M.*,  Restrepo P.J.**

*State Hydrological Institute, 2-ya liniya 23, VO, 199053, St. Petersburg, Russia,
**NOAA National Weather Service, USA 

It is an often expressed opinion that the hydrological science suffers from the data availability limitations and that new measuring approaches can make the break through in hydrological modelling. Furthermore, some authors are following a flexible modeling approach whereby model structures are modified according to local conditions. Presumably, in these cases, additional data could be used in coordination with a modification to the model structure and increased model complexity (and parameters to calibrate) to improve on model results. But, even if the results are improved, we question whether this approach is useful in accurately estimating hydrologic processes in non-instrumented neighboring basins.
In this presentation we show the application of additional observations to a model with physically based parameters and a fixed structure to an experimental watershed.
The Hydrograph model was applied to simulate the hydrological processes at the Dry Creek Experimental Watershed (Idaho, USA). The presentation will show the results of model implementation using both standard data (meteorology, runoff, soil database, DEM) and additional, non-standard data obtained with the extensive observational network (snow measurements, soil moisture and data on surface/groundwater interaction) without resorting to model modification. The results of the model simulations under both conditions will be presented and answer the question posed in the title of this talk.
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