Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Understanding hydrological flow paths in conceptual catchment models using uncertainty and sensitivity analysis
    Increasing pressures on water quality due to intensification of agriculture have raised demands for environmental modeling to accurately simulate the movement of diffuse (nonpoint) nutrients in catchments. As hydrological flows drive the movement and attenuation of nutrients, individual hydrological processes in models should be adequately represented for water quality simulations to be meaningful. In particular, the relative contribution of groundwater and surface runoff to rivers is of interest, as increasing nitrate concentrations are linked to higher groundwater discharges. These requirements for hydrological modeling of groundwater contribution to rivers initiated this assessment of internal flow path partitioning in conceptual hydrological models. In this study, a variance based sensitivity analysis method was used to investigate parameter sensitivities and flow partitioning of three conceptual hydrological models simulating 31 Irish catchments. We compared two established conceptual hydrological models (NAM and SMARG) and a new model (SMART), produced especially for water quality modelling. In addition to the criteria that assess streamflow simulations, a ratio of average groundwater contribution to total streamflow was calculated for all simulations over the 16 year study period. As observations time-series of groundwater contributions to streamflow are not available at catchment scale, the groundwater ratios were evaluated against average annual indices of base flow and deep groundwater flow for each catchment. The exploration of sensitivities of internal flow path partitioning was a specific focus to assist in evaluating model performances. Results highlight that model structure has a strong impact on simulated groundwater flow paths. Sensitivity to the internal pathways in the models are not reflected in the performance criteria results. This demonstrates that simulated groundwater contribution should be constrained by independent data to ensure results within realistic bounds if such models are to be used in the broader environmental sustainability decision making context.
      641Scopus© Citations 36
  • Publication
    Understanding Hydrological Flow Paths in Conceptual Catchment Models To Improve Water Quality Modelling
    Increasing pressures on water quality due to intensification of agriculture have increased the need for environmental modelling to accurately simulate the movement of diffuse (nonpoint) nutrients in catchments. As hydrological flows drive the movement and attenuation of nutrients, individual hydrological processes in models should be adequately represented for water quality simulations to be meaningful. In particular, the relative contribution of groundwater and surface runoff to rivers is of interest, as, for example, higher nitrate concentrations in surface waters are strongly linked to catchments with proportionately larger groundwater contributions to the river. In this study, uncertainty analysis was used to investigate parameter sensitivities and flow partitioning of three conceptual hydrological models simulating 31 Irish catchments. We compared two established conceptual hydrological models (NAM and SMARG) and a new model (SMART), produced especially for water quality modelling. In addition to the criteria that assess streamflow simulations, a ratio of average groundwater contribution to total streamflow was calculated for all simulations over the 16 year study period. As measured time-series of groundwater contributions to streamflow are not available at catchment scale, the groundwater ratios were evaluated against average annual indices of base flow (from the OPW) and estimates of deep groundwater flow (from the Geological Survey of Ireland) for each catchment. The exploration of sensitivities of internal flow path partitioning was a specific focus to assist in evaluating model performances. Results highlight that model structure has a strong impact on simulated groundwater flow path contributions. Sensitivities to the internal pathways in the models are not reflected in the usual (flood forecasting) performance criteria results. This demonstrates that simulated groundwater contribution should be constrained by independent data to ensure results within realistic bounds if such models are to be used in the broader environmental sustainability decision making context.
      354
  • Publication
    Parameter sensitivity of a watershed-scale flood forecasting model as a function of modelling time-step
    Despite significant developments, the simple, lumped, conceptual, rainfall-runoff model is still widely used for flood forecasting. What may not be appreciated is that, while such models can often be calibrated to give reasonable forecasts of flood flows, both parameter values and the fluxes of water through individual model components change significantly with the time step used. This means that such models should be used with caution for studies which require “internal” information, such as hydrograph separation or water quality studies that depend on knowing the fluxes through individual flow routes through the model and in studies which try to relate parameter values to physical features of the catchment. To demonstrate this time-scale limitation, a parameter sensitivity analysis was performed on a typical lumped conceptual model (SMARG) applied to a small rural catchment on the Irish East Coast for a number of different time-steps, flow regimes and evaluation metrics. A global sensitivity analysis method (GUI-HDMR, is applied to calculate sensitivity indices which varied greatly with time-step and evaluation metric used. The sensitivity of parameters also differed for different flow regimes. Care should be taken in using internal information and calibrated parameter in conceptual models because of the strong dependence on time-step.
      693Scopus© Citations 17
  • Publication
    Academic Advising in Civil Engineering: design and evaluation of a hybrid model
    A project to formalise and expand Academic Advising has been implemented at the UCD Civil Engineering School. The goals of this project were twofold: on the one hand, it aimed at training faculty members in Academic Advising roles and providing them with the necessary resources. On the other hand, the project sought to expand student interaction, in particular by engaging students informally in order to build a rapport between them and the academic advisors that we expect will bring long term benefits. The resulting model combines elements of both the prescriptive, e.g., formal training, informative talks on key topics, and developmental approaches, e.g., coffee mornings for students and faculty members. The evaluation of the project was carried out through questionnaires and focus groups. It highlighted very positive feedback from the students, who find these new lines of communication with the academic staff to be useful and productive.
      106Scopus© Citations 2