An Evaluation Matrix to Compare Computer Hydrological Models for Flood Predictions

Tullio Tucciarelli, Marco Sinagra, Giuseppe Bombino, Pasquale Filianoti, Luana Gurnari, Demetrio Antonio Zema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to predict and control the impacts of floods in torrents, it is important to verify thesimulation accuracy of the most used hydrological models. The performance verification is particularlyneeded for applications in watersheds with peculiar climatic and geomorphological characteristics,such as the Mediterranean torrents. Moreover, in addition to the accuracy, other factors affectthe choice of software by stakeholders (users, modellers, researchers, etc.). This study introducesa “performance matrix”, consisting of several evaluation parameters weighted by stakeholders’opinions. The aim is to evaluate the accuracy of the flood prediction which is achieved by differentmodels, as well as the pros and cons of software user experience. To this aim, the performances andrequisites of four physical-based and conceptual models (HEC-HMS, SWMM, MIKE11 NAM andWEC-FLOOD) have been evaluated, by predicting floods in a midsized Mediterranean watershed(Mèsima torrent, Calabria, Southern Italy). In the case study, HEC-HMS and MIKE 11 NAM werethe best computer models (with a weighted score of 4.45 and 4.43, respectively), thanks to their lowcomplexity and computation effort, as well as good user interface and prediction accuracy. However,MIKE11 NAM is not free of charge. SWMM showed a lower prediction accuracy, which put themodel in third place of the four models. The performance of WEC-FLOOD, although not beingas good as for the other tested models, can be considered overall acceptable in comparison to theother well-consolidated models, considering that WEC-FLOOD is in the early stage of development.Overall, the proposal of the performance matrix for hydrological models may represent a first stepin building a more complete evaluation framework of the hydrological and hydraulic commercialmodels, in order to give indications to allow potential users to make an optimal choice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalHydrology
Volume7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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