Climate Change Research ›› 2020, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (3): 325-335.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2019.211

• Impacts of Climate Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Appraising the effect of choosing hydrological model parameters on the inter-annual and intra-annual distribution of simulated runoff

Jing-Wen ZHANG1,Jia-Li GUO2,3(),Jing-Bin WANG1,Li-Li XIA1,Qing-Hua YUE4,Zhang-Jun LIU1   

  1. 1 Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Water Science, Nanchang 330029, China
    2 College of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China
    3 Engineering Research Center of Eco-Environment in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Ministry of Education,China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China
    4 Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation Ltd., Hangzhou 311122, China
  • Received:2019-09-12 Revised:2019-11-23 Online:2020-05-30 Published:2020-06-15
  • Contact: Jia-Li GUO


In the assessment of the impact of climate change on the hydrology and water resources by using hydrological models, it is generally assumed that the parameters of hydrological models are stationary through the historical and future periods without distinguishing the differences of the parameters of hydrological models under the influence of environmental changes. To solve this problem, Set Pair Analysis (SPA) method was used to partition wet, medium and dry years based on annual total precipitation and annual average runoff. The parameters of SWAT distributed hydrological model for different years of recurrence interval were calibrated by to explore the influence of parameters instationarity on the intra-annual and inter-annual distribution patterns of runoff. The results showed that when the times series were respectively classified into wet, medium and dry years by annual total precipitation and annual average runoff, 70% of the 50 years were of the same type (wet or dry). If only the data of an individual certain type (wet, medium and dry) are selected for calibration, the simulation accuracy will be lower than that of the overall consideration of wet, medium and dry years, mainly due to the simulated runoff is overestimated. When the same hydrological data and model parameters under different environmental conditions are used to derive the runoff process, from the perspective of inter-annual variation, the parameters of a specific type (wet, medium and dry) are used to generally generate the wetter results, which increases the proportion of wet years and decreases the proportion of dry years. While from the perspective of intra-annual variation, influenced by the parameters of different types, the concentration of runoff decreases which means the distribution tends to be more uniform, and the runoff concentration period is delayed. The results can provide reference for improving the reliability of hydrological simulation under changing environment in the future and are of great significance for the adaptive management of water resources under changing environment.

Key words: Hydrological model parameters, Set Pair Analysis (SPA), Instationary, Runoff concentration degree, Runoff concentration period

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