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A progressive segmented optimization algorithm for calibrating time-variant parameters of the snowmelt runoff model (SRM)
- Xie, Shunping, Du, Jinkang, Zhou, Xiaobing, Zhang, Xueliang, Feng, Xuezhi, Zheng, Wenlong, Li, Zhiguang, Xu, Chong-Yu
- Journal of hydrology 2018 v.566 pp. 470-483
- Snowmelt Runoff Model, algorithms, model validation, snowmelt, stream flow, temporal variation, watersheds, China
- To capture the temporal variability of parameters of hydrological models, the segmented optimization algorithm (SOA) is usually used which subdivides the calibration period into a number of sub-periods and seeks optimal parameters for each sub-period by optimizing the objective function based on the measured and estimated data in the same sub-period. In this paper, we developed a new method that is called a progressive segmented optimization algorithm (PSOA), which seeks optimal parameters by optimizing the objective function based on both the current and all the prior sub-periods.We applied and compared the SOA and PSOA algorithms to the Snowmelt Runoff Model (SRM) in simulating snow-melt streamflow for the Manasi River basin, northwest of China, during snowmelt seasons of 2001–2012. The study showed: (1) PSOA can effectively calibrate the time-variant model parameters while avoiding too much computational time caused by a significant increase of parameter dimensionality. (2) PSOA outperforms SOA for both single-snowmelt-season and multi-snowmelt-season simulations. (3) For single-snowmelt-season simulation, the length of the sub-period has an apparent effect on model performance, the shorter the sub-period is, the better the model performance will be, when the model is calibrated using the PSOA method. (4) For multi-snowmelt-season simulation, an over-short sub-period may cause overfitting problems in some cases such as the situation of taking Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) as the objective function. A compromised length of sub-period and objective function may have to be chosen as a trade-off among evaluation criteria and between the importance of calibration and validation.