Discharge simulations performed with a hydrological model using bias corrected regional climate model input

S.C. van Pelt, P. Kabat, H.W. ter Maat, B.J.J.M. van den Hurk, A.H. Weerts

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Studies have demonstrated that precipitation on Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes has increased in the last decades and that it is likely that this trend will continue. This will have an influence on discharge of the river Meuse. The use of bias correction methods is important when the effect of precipitation change on river discharge is studied. The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of using two different bias correction methods on output from a Regional Climate Model (RCM) simulation. In this study a Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) run is used, forced by ECHAM-5 under the condition of the SRES-A1B emission scenario, with a 25 km horizontal resolution. The RACMO2 runs contain a systematic precipitation bias on which two bias correction methods are applied. The first method corrects for the wet day fraction and wet day average (WD bias correction) and the second method corrects for the mean and coefficient of variance (MV bias correction). The WD bias correction initially corrects well for the average, but it appears that too many successive precipitation days were removed with this correction. The second method performed less well on average bias correction, but the temporal precipitation pattern was better. Subsequently, the discharge was calculated by using RACMO2 output as forcing to the HBV-96 hydrological model. A large difference was found between the simulated discharge of the uncorrected RACMO2 run, the WD bias corrected run and the MV bias corrected run. These results show the importance of an appropriate bias correction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2387-2397
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • precipitation
  • discharge
  • catchment hydrology
  • river meuse
  • climatic change
  • models
  • land-use changes
  • extreme floods
  • runoff
  • europe
  • impact
  • output
  • flows
  • basin


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