Constraining the HBV model for robust water balance assessments in a cold climate
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHydrology Research. 2021, 52 (2), 356-372. 10.2166/nh.2021.132
Robust projections of changes in the hydrological cycle in a non-stationary climate rely on trustworthy estimates of the water balance elements. Additional drivers than precipitation and temperature, namely wind, radiation, and humidity are known to have a significant influence on processes such as evaporation, snow accumulation, and snow-melt. A gridded version of the rainfall-runoff HBV model is run at a 1 × 1 km scale for mainland Norway for the period 1980–2014, with the following alterations: (i) the implementation of a physically based evaporation scheme; (ii) a net radiation-restricted degree-day factor for snow-melt, and (iii) a diagnostic precipitation phase threshold based on temperature and humidity. The combination of improved forcing data and model alterations allowed for a regional calibration with fewer calibrated parameters. Concurrently, modeled discharge showed equally good or better validation results than previous gridded model versions constructed for the same domain; and discharge trend patterns, snow water equivalent, and potential evaporation compared fairly to observations. Compared with previous studies, lower precipitation and evaporation values for mainland Norway were found. The results suggest that a more robust and more physically based model for climate change studies has been obtained, although additional studies will be needed to further constrain evaporation estimates.