Identification of hydrologic models, optimized parameters, and rainfall inputs consistent with in situ streamflow and rainfall and remotely sensed soil moisture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


An increased understanding of the uncertainties present in rainfall time series can lead to improved confidence in both short- and long-term streamflow forecasts. This study presents an analysis that considers errors arising from model input data, model structure, model parameters, and model states with the objective of finding a self-consistent set that includes hydrological models, model parameters, streamflow, remotely sensed (RS) soil moisture (SM), and rainfall. This methodology can be used by hydrologists to aid model and satellite selection. Taking advantage of model input data reduction and model inversion techniques, this study uses a previously developed methodology to estimate areal rainfall time series for the study catchment of Warwick, Australia, for multiple rainfall-runoff models. RS SM observations from the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) satellites were assimilated into three different rainfall-runoff models using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF). Innovations resulting from the observed and predicted SM were analyzed for Gaussianity. The findings demonstrate that consistency between hydrological models, model parameters, streamflow, RS SM, and rainfall can be found. Joint estimation of rainfall time series and model parameters consistently improved streamflow simulations. For all models rainfall estimates are less than the observed rainfall, and rainfall estimates obtained using the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting (SAC-SMA) model are the most consistent with gauge-based observations. The SAC-SMA model simulates streamflow that is most consistent with observations. EnKF innovations obtained when SMOS RS SM observations were assimilated into the SAC-SMA model demonstrate consistency between SM products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1320
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Ensembles
  • Hydrologic models
  • Kalman filters
  • Model evaluation/performance
  • Optimization

Cite this