Seasonal and regional patterns in performance for a Baltic Sea drainage basin hydrologic model


Steve W. Lyon, Roya Meidani, Ype van der Velde, Helen E. Dahlke, Dennis P. Swaney, Carl-Magnus Mörth, Christoph Humborg


Journal of the American Water Resources Association 51:2 (2015) pages 550-556 DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12268


This study evaluates the ability of the Catchment SIMulation (CSIM) hydrologic model to describe seasonal and regional variations in river discharge over the entire Baltic Sea drainage basin (BSDB) based on 31 years of monthly simulation from 1970 through 2000. To date, the model has been successfully applied to simulate annual fluxes of water from the catchments draining into the Baltic Sea.

Here, we consider spatiotemporal bias in the distribution of monthly modeling errors across the BSDB since it could potentially reduce the fidelity of predictions and negatively affect the design and implementation of land-management strategies.

Within the period considered, the CSIM model accurately reproduced the annual flows across the BSDB; however, it tended to underpredict the proportion of discharge during high-flow periods (i.e., spring months) and overpredict during the summer low flow periods. While the general over- predictions during summer periods are spread across all the subbasins of the BSDB, the underprediction during spring periods is seen largely in the northern regions.

By implementing a genetic algorithm calibration procedure and/or seasonal parameterization of subsurface water flows for a subset of the catchments modeled, we demonstrate that it is possible to improve the model performance albeit at the cost of increased parameterization and potential loss of parsimony.


April 2015

Share this page:

Web editor: Marmar Nekoro

Updated: 2015-08-26
Baltic Nest Institute Sweden
Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, +46-8-16 37 18
Baltic Nest Institute Denmark
Aarhus University, Fredriksborgsvej 399
DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark, +45 4630 1200
Baltic Nest Institute Finland
Finnish Environment Institute, P.O. Box 140
FI-00251 Helsinki, Finland, + 358 20 610 123