Why do we have so many different hydrological models? A review based on the case of Switzerland

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Authors

Pascal Horton , Bettina Schaefli , Martina Kauzlaric

Abstract

Hydrology plays a central role in applied and fundamental environmental sciences, but it is well known to suffer from an overwhelming diversity of models, particularly to simulate streamflow. We discuss here in detail how such diversity did arise based on the example of Switzerland. The case study's relevance stems from the fact that Switzerland, despite of being a small country, shows a variety of hydro-climatological regimes, of water resources management challenges, and of hydrological research institutes that led to a model diversification that stands exemplary for the diversification that arose also at larger scales. Our analysis, based on literature review, personal enquiry and an author survey, summarises the main driving forces behind model diversification. We anticipate that this review not only helps researchers from other fields but in particular also the international hydrology community to understand why we have so many different streamflow models.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5CK5K

Subjects

Hydrology, Water Resource Management

Keywords

hydrology, review, modelling, Switzerland

Dates

Published: 2021-02-02 01:19

Last Updated: 2021-07-21 07:46

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License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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