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Future of distributed modeling: The Systeme Hydrologique Europeen

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Bathurst, Professor Enda O'Connell


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Current and projected UK activities with the Systeme Hydrologique Europeen (SHE) hydrological modelling system are examined. Development of the SHE arose from the need for a new modelling approach for use in assessing the environmental impacts of river basin development and the system is particularly suited to predicting the impacts of land use and climatic changes and to applications to basins with sparse data sets. The basic hydrology model is now being developed into a powerful contaminant and sediment transport modelling system called SHETRAN-UK and components are also being proposed to account for landslide and gully erosion. Applications of the SHE have been made at spatial scales ranging from 30 m2 to 5000 km2 and in a variety of environments. These have demonstrated an ability to achieve calibration on the basis of short time series records and field evaluation of parameters, to provide multiple outputs on a spatially and temporally distributed basis, and to explore basin response mechanisms. They have also indicated the importance of integrating field measurements within the calibration process. The effect of the scale of model grids on parameter evaluation and on simulation results still needs to be investigated and there is a need for field process studies in areas where there is a poor understanding, to improve certain of the process representations within the SHE. However, new ideas are being explored to account for subgrid spatial variability in parameter values and to develop a validation methodology for testing the predictive capability of the SHE. Future developments will include the use of geographical information systems and data processing packages to aid data handling, expert systems to improve the efficiency of calibration, and parallel processing and other new computational techniques. An expanding range of applications will see physically based hydrological modelling systems at the core of decision support systems and integrated at the continental scale with general circulation modelling systems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bathurst JC, O'Connell PE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Hydrological Processes

Year: 1992

Volume: 6

Issue: 3

Pages: 265-277

ISSN (print): 0885-6087

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1085


DOI: 10.1002/hyp.3360060304


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