03 May 2023
 | 03 May 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Evaluation of hydrological models on small mountainous catchments: impact of the meteorological forcings

Guillaume Evin, Matthieu Le Lay, Catherine Fouchier, Alexandre Mas, François Colleoni, David Penot, Pierre-André Garambois, and Olivier Laurantin

Abstract. Hydrological modelling of small mountainous catchments is particularly challenging because of the high spatio-temporal resolution required for the meteorological forcings. In-situ measurements of precipitation are typically scarce in these remote areas, particularly at high elevations. Precipitation reanalyses propose different alternative forcings for the simulation of streamflow using hydrological models. In this paper, we evaluate the performances of two hydrological models representing some of the key processes for small mountainous catchments, using different meteorological products with a fine spatial and temporal resolution. The evaluation is performed on 55 small catchments of the Northern French Alps. While the simulated streamflows are adequately reproduced for most of the configurations, these evaluations emphasize the added value of radar measurements, in particular for the reproduction of flood events. However, these better performances are only obtained because the hydrological models correct the underestimations of accumulated amounts (e.g. annual) from the radar data in high-elevation areas.

Guillaume Evin et al.

Status: open (until 08 Jul 2023)

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  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-845', Guillaume Thirel, 16 May 2023 reply

Guillaume Evin et al.


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Short summary
Hydrological modelling of mountainous catchments is challenging for many reasons, the main one being the temporal and spatial representation of precipitation forcings. This study presents an evaluation of the hydrological modelling of 55 small mountainous catchments of the Northern French Alps, focusing on the influence of the type of precipitation reanalyses used as inputs. These evaluations emphasize the added value of radar measurements, in particular for the reproduction of flood events.