Paper No. JAWRA-10-0099-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.
Prediction of Streamflow Regime and Annual Runoff for Ungauged Basins Using a Distributed Monthly Water Balance Model1
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2011
© 2011 American Water Resources Association
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 32–42, February 2012
How to Cite
Moore, R.D., Trubilowicz, J.W. and Buttle, J.M. (2012), Prediction of Streamflow Regime and Annual Runoff for Ungauged Basins Using a Distributed Monthly Water Balance Model. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 48: 32–42. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00595.x
- Issue published online: 1 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2011
- Received June 28, 2010; accepted July 6, 2011.
- surface water;
- catchment classification;
- water balance model;
- streamflow regime;
- prediction in ungauged basins
Moore, R.D. (Dan), J.W. Trubilowicz, and J.M. Buttle, 2011. Prediction of Streamflow Regime and Annual Runoff for Ungauged Basins Using a Distributed Monthly Water Balance Model. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(1): 32-42. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00595.x
Abstract: Prediction of streamflow in ungauged basins is a global challenge, but is particularly an issue in physiographically complex regions like British Columbia (BC), Canada. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of a simple water balance model that can be run using existing spatial datasets. The model was developed by modifying an existing monthly water balance model to account for interception loss from forest canopy, glacier melt, and evaporation from lakes. The model was run using monthly climate normals from the ClimateBC application, which have a horizontal resolution of 400 m. Each ClimateBC grid cell was classified as forest, open land, glacier or water surface based on provincial scale digital maps of biogeoclimatic zones, glaciers, and water. The output was monthly mean runoff from each grid cell. These values were integrated within the catchment boundaries for streams gauged by the Water Survey of Canada. Annual runoff was predicted with modest accuracy: after updating the predicted runoff by interpolating errors from neighboring gauged streams, the mean absolute error was 25.4% of the gauged value, and 52% of the streams had errors less than 20%. However, the model appears to be quite robust in distinguishing between pluvial, hybrid, and melt-dominated hydroclimatic regimes, and therefore has promise as a tool for catchment classification.