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Research article1997Peer reviewed

A test of TOPMODEL's ability to predict spatially distributed groundwater levels

Seibert, J; Bishop, KH; Nyberg, L


TOPMODEL was calibrated to a small catchment using precipitation and runoff data. Acceptable fits of simulated and observed runoff were obtained during both the calibration and validation periods. Predictions of groundwater levels using this calibration did not agree well with observations at the 37 points within the catchment where groundwater levels were measured, including three locations with continuous recordings. Groundwater level observations at one single point in time, however, sufficed to calibrate new topographic-soil indices that improved the prediction of the local groundwater levels at the observed tubes. This suggests that spatially distributed calibration data are necessary to exploit reliably TOPMODEL's ability to predict spatially distributed hydrology. The mean or recalibrated transmissivity values at these 37 points differed from the catchment mean as determined by the precipitation-runoff calibration. Thus, while groundwater information can help in predicting groundwater levels at specific locations, increasing the number of local groundwater level measurements is not sufficient to improve the spatially distributed representation of subsurface flow by TOPMODEL for the catchment as a whole, as long as the groundwater information is not integrated in the precipitation-runoff calibration. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


TOPMODEL; groundwater levels; model validation

Published in

Hydrological Processes
1997, Volume: 11, number: 9, pages: 1131-1144

        SLU Authors

      • Bishop, Kevin

        • Department of Forest Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

      Publication identifier


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