Development and performance analysis of a physically based hydrological model incorporating the effects of subgrid heterogeneity

Hak Lee

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    209 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] The balance equations of mass and momentum, defined at the scale of what has been defined as a Representative Elementary Watershed (REW) has been proposed by Reggiani et al. (1998, 1999). While it has been acknowledged that the REW approach and the associated balance equations can be the basis for the development of a new generation of distributed physically based hydrological models, four building blocks have been identified as necessary to transform the REW approach into, at the very least least, a workable modelling framework beyond the theoretical achievements. These are: 1) the development of reasonable closure relations for the mass exchange fluxes within and between various REW sub-regions that effectively parameterize the effects of sub-REW heterogeneity of climatic and landscape properties, 2) the design of numerical algorithms capable of generating numerical solutions of the REW-scale balance equations composed of a set of coupled ordinary differential and algebraic equations for the number of REWs constituting a study catchment and the sub-regions within the REWs, 3) applications of the resulting numerical model to real catchments to assess its performance in the prediction of any specified hydrological variables, and 4) the assessment of the model reliability through estimation of model predictive uncertainty and parameter uncertainty. This thesis is aimed at making substantial progress in developing each of these building blocks. Chapter 1 presents the background and motivation for the thesis, while Chapter 2 summarizes its main contributions. Chapter 3 presents a description of the closure problem that the REW approach faces, and presents and implements various approaches to develop closure relations needed for the completeness of balance equations of the REW approach. ... In addition, Chapter 4 also shows an initial application of CREW to a small catchment, Susannah Brook in the south-west of Western Australia. Chapter 5 presents the application of CREW to two meso-scale catchments in Australia, namely Collie and Howard Springs, located in contrasting climates. Chapter 6 presents results of the estimation of predictive uncertainty and parameter sensitivity through the application of CREW to two catchments in Australia, namely Susannah Brook and Howard Springs, by using the Generalized Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) methodology. Finally, Chapter 7 presents recommendations for future work for the further advancement of the REW approach. Through these exercises this PhD thesis has successfully transformed the REW-scale coupled balance equations derived by Reggiani et al. (1998, 1999) into a new, well tested numerical model blueprint for the development and implementation of distributed, physically based models applicable at the catchment, or REW scale.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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