Seasonal and regional patterns in performance for a Baltic Sea Drainage Basin hydrologic model

S.W. Lyon, Roya Meidani, Ype van der Velde, H.E. Dahlke, D.P. Swaney, Carl Magnus Mörth, Christoph Humborg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluates the ability of the Catchment SIMulation (CSIM) hydrologic model to describe seasonal and regional variations in river discharge over the entire Baltic Sea drainage basin (BSDB) based on 31 years of monthly simulation from 1970 through 2000. To date, the model has been successfully applied to simulate annual fluxes of water from the catchments draining into the Baltic Sea. Here, we consider spatiotemporal bias in the distribution of monthly modeling errors across the BSDB since it could potentially reduce the fidelity of predictions and negatively affect the design and implementation of land-management strategies. Within the period considered, the CSIM model accurately reproduced the annual flows across the BSDB; however, it tended to underpredict the proportion of discharge during high-flow periods (i.e., spring months) and overpredict during the summer low flow periods. While the general overpredictions during summer periods are spread across all the subbasins of the BSDB, the underprediction during spring periods is seen largely in the northern regions. By implementing a genetic algorithm calibration procedure and/or seasonal parameterization of subsurface water flows for a subset of the catchments modeled, we demonstrate that it is possible to improve the model performance albeit at the cost of increased parameterization and potential loss of parsimony.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-566
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Baltic NEST
  • Baltic Sea drainage basin
  • Generalized watershed loading function (GWLF)
  • Hydrological modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal and regional patterns in performance for a Baltic Sea Drainage Basin hydrologic model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this