Effect of length of the observed dataset on the calibration of a distributed hydrological model
- 1College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China
- 2South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, Guangzhou, 510655, China
Keywords: Heihe basin, length of river discharge data, SWAT, model calibration
Abstract. Calibration of hydrological models in ungauged basins is now a hot research topic in the field of hydrology. In addition to the traditional method of parameter regionalization, using discontinuous flow observations to calibrate hydrological models has gradually become popular in recent years. In this study, the possibility of using a limited number of river discharge data to calibrate a distributed hydrological model, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), was explored. The influence of the quantity of discharge measurements on model calibration in the upper Heihe Basin was analysed. Calibration using only one year of daily discharge measurements was compared with calibration using three years of discharge data. The results showed that the parameter values derived from calibration using one year’s data could achieve similar model performance with calibration using three years’ data, indicating that there is a possibility of using limited numbers of discharge data to calibrate the SWAT model effectively in poorly gauged basins.