Using interactive recession curve analysis to specify a general catchment storage model R. Lamb1 and K. Beven Centre for Research on Environmental Systems, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ UK. Email: R.Lamb@ua.nwl.ac.uk, K.Beven@lancaster.ac.uk 1Now at the Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK.
Abstract. An analysis of hydrograph recessions can be used to
identify the parameters of a conceptual catchment storage irnodel and,
with the advent of large-scale digital data storage and automated logging
systems, it has become desirable to automate recession curve analysis.
Various studies have thus reported algorithms used to infer 'baseflow'
storage models automatically from recession data. Such algorithms commonly
operate by maximising the fit of measured recession data to some a priori
function. Here, an alternative approach is taken in which the appropriate
form for a catchment saturated zone store is investigated by combining
observed recession data to form a Master Recession Curve (MRC). This is
done within a software package that offers automated functions to help
select recession periods suitable for inclusion within the MRC. These recession
periods are combined automatically to form a "prototype" MRC, which can
be modified interactively to overcome problems such as unrepresentative
or sparse data. The master recession for a catchment is used to calculate
an empirical catchment-averaged discharge-relative storage (QΔS)
relationship. The method is considered to be general because the QΔS
relationship may be of arbitrary form. Examples are given, showing the
derivation for three catchments of different QΔS
Citation: Lamb, R. and Beven, K.: Using interactive recession curve analysis to specify a general catchment storage model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 1, 101-113, doi:10.5194/hess-1-101-1997, 1997.