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Unpacking some of the linkages between uncertainties in observational data and the simulation of different hydrological processes using the Pitman model in the data scarce Zambezi River basin.
  • Denis Hughes,
  • Fabio Farinosi
Denis Hughes
Rhodes University
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Fabio Farinosi
European Commission Joint Research Centre Ispra Sector
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The main objective of this study was to use an uncertainty version of a widely used monthly time step, semi-distributed model (the Pitman model) to explore the equifinalities in the way in which the main hydrological processes are simulated and any identifiable linkages with uncertainties in the available observational data. The study area is the Zambezi River basin and 18 gauged sub-basins have been included in the analyses. Unfortunately, it is not generally possible to quantify some of the observational uncertainties in such a data scarce area and mostly we are limited to identifying where these data are clearly deficient (i.e. erroneous or non-representative). The overall conclusion is that the equifinalities in the model are hugely dominant in terms of the uncertainties in the relative occurrence of different runoff generating processes, although water use uncertainties in the semi-arid parts of the basin can contribute to these uncertainties. The identification of landscape features that suggest the occurrence of saturation excess surface runoff provides some information to constrain the model. Improved independent estimates of groundwater recharge is also identified as a key source of observational data that would help a great deal in constraining the model parameter space and therefore reducing some of the model equifinality.

Peer review status:Published

18 Sep 2020Submitted to Hydrological Processes
18 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
18 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
24 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
11 Jan 20211st Revision Received
11 Jan 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 Jan 2021Assigned to Editor
11 Jan 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
11 Mar 20212nd Revision Received
11 Mar 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 Mar 2021Assigned to Editor
11 Mar 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Mar 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
23 Mar 2021Published in Hydrological Processes. 10.1002/hyp.14141