Conceptual rainfall–runoff models are widely used to understand the hydrologic responses of catchments of interest. Modellers calculate the model performance statistics for the calibration and validation periods to investigate whether these models serve as satisfactory representations of the natural hydrologic phenomenon. Another useful method to investigate model suitability is sensitivity analysis (SA), which investigates structural uncertainty in the models. However, a comprehensive method is needed, which led us to develop a model suitability index (MSI) by combining the results of model performance statistics and SA. Here, we assessed and compared the suitability of three rainfall–runoff models (GR4J, IHACRES and Sacramento model) for seven Korean catchments using MSI. MSI showed that the GR4J and IHACRES models are suitable, having more than 0.5 MSI, whereas the Sacramento has less than 0.5 MSI, representing unsuitability for the most of the Korean catchments. The MSI developed in this study is a quantitative measure that can be used for the comparison of rainfall–runoff models for different catchments. It uses the results of existing model performance statistics and sensitivity indices; hence, users can easily apply this index to their models and catchments to investigate suitability.
- conceptual rainfall–runoff model
- Korean catchments
- model performance
- model suitability index
- sensitivity analysis
- First received 22 April 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 20 July 2016.
- © 2016 The Authors
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