National Land and Water Resources Audit
Extension of Unimpaired Monthly Streamflow Data and Regionalisation of Parameter Values to estimate Streamflow in Ungauged Catchments
Centre for Environmental Applied Hydrology, The University of Melbourne
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Access to data: Statistical and graphical information products can be accessed through the Water Availability information products in the Australian Natural Resources Atlas through river basin and/or surface water management area regional profiles. Access to the primary data will be through the Australian Natural Resources Data Library.
The objectives of the project were to extend unimpaired streamflow data for stations throughout Australia and to relate the model parameters to measurable catchment characteristics. The long time series of streamflow data are important for both research and management of Australia's hydrological and ecological systems.
A simple conceptual daily rainfall-runoff model, SIMHYD, is used to extend the streamflow data. The model estimates streamflow from daily rainfall and areal potential evapotranspiration data. The parameters in the model are first calibrated against the available historical streamflow data. The optimised parameter values are then used to estimate monthly streamflow from 1901-1998.
The modelling is carried out on 331 catchments across Australia, most of them located in the more populated and important agricultural areas in eastern and south-east Australia. These catchments are unimpaired, have at least 10 years of streamflow data and catchment areas between 50 kmē and 2000 kmē.
The model calibration and cross-validation analyses carried out in this project indicate that SIMHYD can estimate monthly streamflow satisfactorily for most of the catchments. The streamflow simulations are considered to be good in 111 catchments, satisfactory in 123 catchments, passable in 52 catchments and poor in 45 catchments. The streamflow data are only extended for catchments with simulations that are considered passable or better.
The main outcome of this project is therefore time series of estimated monthly streamflow data from 1901-1998 for 286 catchments in Australia.
The relationship between the optimised model parameter values and climate, relief and soil characteristics are also investigated. The results indicate that there is a high statistical significance between some of the model parameters and the catchment characteristics. There relationships will be explored further in a more detailed analysis with a view to developing relationships between model parameters and catchment characteristics that can be used in ungauged catchments.
This project is carried out by the Centre for Environmental Applied Hydrology at the University of Melbourne as part of the National Land and Water Resources Audit Project 1 in Theme 1 (Water Availability).
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