Water Resources Research, Volume 57, Issue 5

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American Geophysical Union (AGU)
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Mimicry of a Conceptual Hydrological Model (HBV): What's in a Name?
Koen Jansen | Adriaan J. Teuling | James R. Craig | Marco Dal Molin | Wouter Knoben | Juraj Parajka | Marc Vis | Lieke Melsen

Models that mimic an original model might have a different model structure than the original model, that affects model output. This study assesses model structure differences and their impact on output by comparing 7 model implementations that carry the name HBV. We explain and quantify output differences with individual model structure components at both the numerical (e.g., explicit/implicit scheme) and mathematical level (e.g., lineair/power outflow). It was found that none of the numerical and mathematical formulations of the mimicking models were (originally) the same as the benchmark, HBV-light. This led to small but distinct output differences in simulated streamflow for different numerical implementations (KGE difference up to 0.15), and major output differences due to mathematical differences (KGE median loss of 0.27). These differences decreased after calibrating the individual models to the simulated streamflow of the benchmark model. We argue that the lack of systematic model naming has led to a diverging concept of the HBV-model, diminishing the concept of model mimicry. Development of a systematic model naming framework, open accessible model code and more elaborate model descriptions are suggested to enhance model mimicry and model development.

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Fill‐and‐Spill: A Process Description of Runoff Generation at the Scale of the Beholder
Jeffrey J. McDonnell | Christopher Spence | Daniel J. Karran | H. J. van Meerveld | Ciaran J. Harman

Descriptions of runoff generation processes continue to grow, helping to reveal complexities and hydrologic behavior across a wide range of environments and scales. But to date, there has been little grouping of these process facts. Here, we discuss how the “fill‐and‐spill” concept can provide a framework to group event‐based runoff generation processes. The fill‐and‐spill concept describes where vertical and lateral additions of water to a landscape unit are placed into storage (the fill)—and only when this storage reaches a critical level (the spill), and other storages are filled and become connected, does a previously infeasible (but subsequently important) outflow pathway become activated. We show that fill‐and‐spill can be observed at a range of scales and propose that future fieldwork should first define the scale of interest and then evaluate what is filling‐and‐spilling at that scale. Such an approach may be helpful for those instrumenting and modeling new hillslopes or catchments because it provides a structured way to develop perceptual models for runoff generation and to group behaviors at different sites and scales.