Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3359-3375, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
07 Jul 2017
Improving the Xin'anjiang hydrological model based on mass–energy balance
Yuan-Hao Fang1,2,5, Xingnan Zhang2,3,4, Chiara Corbari5, Marco Mancini5, Guo-Yue Niu6,7, and Wenzhi Zeng8,9 1School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
2National Cooperative Innovation Center for Water Safety & Hydro-Science, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
3College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
4National Engineering Research Center of Water Resources Efficient Utilization and Engineering Safety, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (D.I.C.A.), Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
6Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
7Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, Oracle AZ, USA
8State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
9Crop Science Group, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Abstract. Conceptual hydrological models are preferable for real-time flood forecasting, among which the Xin'anjiang (XAJ) model has been widely applied in humid and semi-humid regions of China. Although the relatively simple mass balance scheme ensures a good performance of runoff simulation during flood events, the model still has some defects. Previous studies have confirmed the importance of evapotranspiration (ET) and soil moisture content (SMC) in runoff simulation. In order to add more constraints to the original XAJ model, an energy balance scheme suitable for the XAJ model was developed and coupled with the original mass balance scheme of the XAJ model. The detailed parameterizations of the improved model, XAJ-EB, are presented in the first part of this paper. XAJ-EB employs various meteorological forcing and remote sensing data as input, simulating ET and runoff yield using a more physically based mass–energy balance scheme. In particular, the energy balance is solved by determining the representative equilibrium temperature (RET), which is comparable to land surface temperature (LST). The XAJ-EB was evaluated in the Lushui catchment situated in the middle reach of the Yangtze River basin for the period between 2004 and 2007. Validation using ground-measured runoff data proves that the XAJ-EB is capable of reproducing runoff comparable to the original XAJ model. Additionally, RET simulated by XAJ-EB agreed well with moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS)-retrieved LST, which further confirms that the model is able to simulate the mass–energy balance since LST reflects the interactions among various processes. The validation results prove that the XAJ-EB model has superior performance compared with the XAJ model and also extends its applicability.

Citation: Fang, Y.-H., Zhang, X., Corbari, C., Mancini, M., Niu, G.-Y., and Zeng, W.: Improving the Xin'anjiang hydrological model based on mass–energy balance, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3359-3375,, 2017.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Soil moisture and evapotranspiration (ET) are important to flood forecasting. An energy balance scheme based on the representative temperature (RET) was developed and coupled to the original mass balance scheme of the Xin'anjiang model. Validation against both runoff and land surface temperature confirmed the accuracy and applicability of the improved model (XAJ-EB). RET serves as a new constraint to the model and can be used for model calibration and validation.
Soil moisture and evapotranspiration (ET) are important to flood forecasting. An energy balance...