Comparing the ISBA and J2000 approaches for surface flows modelling at the local scale in the Everest region (2019)

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This paper compares the hydrological responses at the local scale of two models using different degrees of refinement to represent physical processes in sparsely instrumented mountainous Himalayan catchments. This work presents the novelty of applying, at a small spatio-temporal scale and under the same forcing conditions, a fully distributed surface scheme based on mass and energy balance equations (ISBA surface scheme), and a semi-distributed calibrated model (J2000 hydrological model). A new conceptual module coupled to the ISBA surface scheme for flow routing is presented. Two small catchments located in mid- and high- mountain environments were chosen to represent the very different climatic and physiographic characteristics of the Central Himalayas in the Everest region of eastern Nepal. The results show that both models globally represent the dynamic of the processes for evaporation, quick runoff and discharge in a similar way. The differences in the model structures and results mainly concern the snow processes and the soil processes. In particular for the high-mountain catchment, the snow-pack simulation is shown to be the main driver of the discrepancy between the two models. The sub-daily variations of snow processes are shown to significantly influence the estimation of the snow-melt contribution to discharge.
Year: 2019
Language: English
In: Journal of Hydrology, 569: 705-719 p.

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 Record created 2019-01-14, last modified 2019-01-28