Validation of a model with climatic and flow scenario analysis: case of Lake Burrumbeet in southeastern Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • Forecast evaluation is an important topic that addresses the development of reliable hydrological probabilistic forecasts, mainly through the use of climate uncertainties. Often, validation has no place in hydrology for most of the times, despite the parameters of a model are uncertain. Similarly, the structure of the model can be incorrectly chosen. A calibrated and verified dynamic hydrologic water balance spreadsheet model has been used to assess the effect of climate variability on Lake Burrumbeet, southeastern Australia. The lake level has been verified to lake level, lake volume, lake surface area, surface outflow and lake salinity. The current study aims to increase lake level confidence model prediction through historical validation for the year 2008-2013, under different climatic scenario. Based on the observed climatic condition (2008-2013), it fairly matches with a hybridization of scenarios, being the period interval (2008-2013), corresponds to both dry and wet climatic condition. Besides to the hydrologic stresses uncertainty, uncertainty in the calibrated model is among the major drawbacks involved in making scenario simulations. In line with this, the uncertainty in the calibrated model was tested using sensitivity analysis and showed that errors in the model can largely be attributed to erroneous estimates of evaporation and rainfall, and surface inflow to a lesser. The study demonstrates that several climatic scenarios should be analysed, with a combination of extreme climate, stream flow and climate change instead of one assumed climatic sequence, to improve climate variability prediction in the future. Performing such scenario analysis is a valid exercise to comprehend the uncertainty with the model structure and hydrology, in a meaningful way, without missing those, even considered as less probable, ultimately turned to be crucial for decision making and will definitely increase the confidence of model prediction for management of the water resources.

publication date

  • 2016