Definition and sensitivity of the conceptual MORDOR rainfall–runoff model parameters using different multi-criteria calibration strategies
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
MORDOR is a conceptual hydrological model extensively used in Électricité de France (EDF, French electric utility company) operational applications: (i) hydrological forecasting, (ii) flood risk assessment, (iii) water balance and (iv) climate change studies. MORDOR is a lumped, reservoir, elevation based model with hourly or daily areal rainfall and air temperature as the driving input data. The principal hydrological processes represented are evapotranspiration, direct and indirect runoff, ground water, snow accumulation and melt and routing. The model has been intensively used at EDF for more than 20 years, in particular for modeling French mountainous watersheds. In the matter of parameters calibration we propose and test alternative multi-criteria techniques based on two specific approaches: automatic calibration using single-objective functions and a priori parameter calibration founded on hydrological watershed features. The automatic calibration approach uses single-objective functions, based on Kling–Gupta efficiency, to quantify the good agreement between the simulated and observed runoff focusing on four different runoff samples: (i) time-series sample, (I) annual hydrological regime, (iii) monthly cumulative distribution functions and (iv) recession sequences.The primary purpose of this study is to analyze the definition and sensitivity of MORDOR parameters testing different calibration techniques in order to: (i) simplify the model structure, (ii) increase the calibration-validation performance of the model and (iii) reduce the equifinality problem of calibration process. We propose an alternative calibration strategy that reaches these goals. The analysis is illustrated by calibrating MORDOR model to daily data for 50 watersheds located in French mountainous regions.