Macro-scale hydrological modelling implies a repeated application of a model within an area using regional parameters. These parameters are based on climate and landscape characteristics, and they are used to calculate the water balance in ungauged areas. The regional parameters ought to be robust and not too dependent of the catchment and time period used for calibration. The ECOMAG model is applied for the NOPEX-region as a macro-scale hydrological model distributed on a 2×2 km2 grid. Each model element is assigned parameters according to soil and vegetation classes. A Bayesian methodology is followed. An objective function describing the fit between observed and simulated values is used to describe the likelihood of the parameters. Using Baye's theorem these likelihoods are used to update the probability distributions of the parameters using additional data, being it either an additional year of streamflow or an additional streamflow station. Two sampling methods are used, regular sampling and Metropolis-Hastings sampling. The results show that regional parameters exist according to some predefined criteria. The probability distribution of the parameters shows a decreasing variance as data from new catchments are used for updating. A few parameters do, however, not exhibit this property, and they are therefore not suitable in a regional context.
- Received January 14, 2000.
- Revision received November 27, 2000.
- Accepted February 9, 2001.
- © IWA Publishing 2001