Coupling the ISBA Land Surface Model and the TOPMODEL Hydrological Model for Mediterranean Flash-Flood Forecasting : Description, Calibration, and Validation

Abstract : Innovative coupling between the soilvegetationatmosphere transfer (SVAT) model Interactions between Soil, Biosphere, and Atmosphere (ISBA) and the hydrological model TOPMODEL has been specifically designed for flash-flood forecasting in the Mediterranean area. The coupled model described in this study combines the advantages of the two types of model: the accurate representation of water and energy transfer between the soil and the atmosphere within the SVAT column and an explicit representation of the lateral transfer of water over the hydrological catchment unit. Another advantage of this coupling is that the number of parameters to be calibrated is reduced by two, as only two parameters instead of four parameters concern the TOPMODEL formulation used here. The parameters to be calibrated concern only the water transfer. The model was calibrated for the simulation of flash-flood events on the three main watersheds covering the French CévennesVivarais region using a subset of past flash-flood events having occurred since 2000. The complementary subset of flash-flood events was then used to carry out an objective verification of the coupled model after calibration. The evaluation on these six independent past flash-flood events shows satisfactory results. The comparison of the observed and simulated hydrographs demonstrates that no flash-flood peaks are missed. Relevant information for flash-flood forecasting can always be inferred from the simulations, even for those with quite poor results, making the system useful for real-time and operational flash-flood forecasting.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 5:22:47 PM
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Ludovic Bouilloud, Katia Chancibault, Béatrice Vincendon, Véronique Ducrocq, Florence Habets, et al.. Coupling the ISBA Land Surface Model and the TOPMODEL Hydrological Model for Mediterranean Flash-Flood Forecasting : Description, Calibration, and Validation. Journal of Hydro-Meteorology, 2010, 2 (11), pp 315-333. ⟨10.1175/2009JHM1163.1⟩. ⟨hal-00587936⟩

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