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Parameter transferability across spatial resolutions in urban hydrological modelling: a case study in Beijing, China

Hou, Xiaoshu, Chen, Lei, Liu, Xiang, Li, Miao, Shen, Zhenyao
Frontiers of earth science 2019 v.13 no.1 pp. 18-32
calibration, case studies, hydrologic models, rain, runoff, stormwater management, subwatersheds, urbanization, China
This study examined the influence of spatial resolution on model parameterization, output, and the parameter transferability between different resolutions using the Storm Water Management Model. High-resolution models, in which most subcatchments were homogeneous, and high-resolution-based low-resolution models (in 3 scenarios) were constructed for a highly urbanized catchment in Beijing. The results indicated that the parameterization and simulation results were affected by both spatial resolution and rainfall characteristics. The simulated peak inflow and total runoff volume were sensitive to the spatial resolution, but did not show a consistent tendency. High-resolution models performed very well for both calibration and validation events in terms of three indexes: 1) the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, 2) the peak flow error, and 3) the volume error; indication of the advantage of using these models. The parameters obtained from high-resolution models could be directly used in the low-resolution models and performed well in the simulation of heavy rain and torrential rain and in the study area where sub-area routing is insignificant. Alternatively, sub-area routing should be considered and estimated approximately. The successful scale conversion from high spatial resolution to low spatial resolution is of great significance for the hydrological simulation of ungauged large areas.