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Comparison of the HSPF and HBV-INCA Models: Crossing the Atlantic Divide

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2009 Reno, Nevada, June 21 - June 24, 2009  096591.(doi:10.13031/2013.27169)
Authors:   Rebecca W Zeckoski, Attila N Lazar, Dongfang Liang, Andrew J Wade
Keywords:   HSPF, INCA, hydrological modeling, model comparison

Observation shows that the watershed-scale models in common use in the United States (US) differ from those used in the European Union (EU). The question arises whether the difference in model use is due to familiarity or necessity. Do conditions in each continent require the use of unique watershed-scale models, or are models sufficiently customizable that independent development of models that serve the same purpose (e.g., continuous/event-based, lumped/distributed, field/watershed-scale) is unnecessary? This paper explores this question through the application of two continuous, semi-distributed, watershed-scale models (HSPF and HBV-INCA) to a rural catchment in southern England. The Hydrological Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF) model is in wide use in the United States. The Integrated Catchments (INCA) model has been used extensively in Europe, and particularly in England. The results of simulation from both models are presented herein. Both models performed adequately according to the criteria set for them. This suggests that there was not a necessity to have alternative, yet similar, models. This partially supports a general conclusion that resources should be devoted towards training in the use of existing models rather than development of new models that serve a similar purpose to existing models. A further comparison of water quality predictions from both models may alter this conclusion.

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