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Sensitivity analysis of the parameter-efficient distributed (PED) model for discharge and sediment concentration estimation in degraded humid landscapes

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Title: Sensitivity analysis of the parameter-efficient distributed (PED) model for discharge and sediment concentration estimation in degraded humid landscapes
Authors: Ochoa-Tocachi, B
Alemie, T
Guzman, CD
Tilahun, SA
Zimale, FA
Buytaert, W
Steenhuis, TS
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Sustainable development in degraded landscapes in the humid tropics require effective soil and water management practices. Coupled hydrological‐erosion models have been used to understand and predict the underlying processes at watershed scale and the effect of human interventions. One prominent tool is the parameter‐efficient distributed (PED) model, which improves on other models by considering a saturation‐excess runoff generation driving erosion and sediment transport in humid climates. This model has been widely applied at different scales for the humid monsoonal climate of the Ethiopian Highlands, with good success in estimating discharge and sediment concentrations. However, previous studies performed manual calibration of the involved parameters without reporting sensitivity analyses or assessing equifinality. The aim of this article is to provide a multi‐objective global sensitivity analysis of the PED model using automatic random sampling implemented in the SAFE Toolbox. We find that relative parameter sensitivity depends greatly on the purpose of model application and the outcomes used for its evaluation. Five of the 13 PED model parameters are insensitive for improving model performance. Additionally, associating behavioural parameter values with a clear physical meaning provides slightly better results and helps interpretation. Lastly, good performance in one module does not translate directly into good performance in the other module. We interpret these results in terms of the represented hydrological and erosion processes and recommend field data to inform model calibration and validation, potentially improving land degradation understanding and prediction and supporting decision‐making for soil and water conservation strategies in degraded humid landscapes.
Issue Date: 19-Nov-2018
Date of Acceptance: 18-Oct-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/65598
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ldr.3202
ISSN: 1085-3278
Publisher: Wiley
Journal / Book Title: Land Degradation and Development
Copyright Statement: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Ochoa‐Tocachi BF, Alemie TC, Guzman CD, et al. Sensitivity analysis of the parameter‐efficient distributed (PED) model for discharge and sediment concentration estimation in degraded humid landscapes. Land Degrad Dev. 2018;1–15., which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ldr.3202
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Imperial College London
Natural Environment Research Council [2006-2012]
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K010239/1
President's PhD Scholarship
NE/L002515/1
Keywords: 03 Chemical Sciences
04 Earth Sciences
05 Environmental Sciences
Agronomy & Agriculture
Publication Status: Published online
Embargo Date: 2019-11-19
Online Publication Date: 2018-11-19
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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