Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 923–937 | Cite as

The Improvement in GWLF Model Simulation Performance in Watershed Hydrology by Changing the Transport Framework

  • Zuoda Qi
  • Gelin Kang
  • Minli Shen
  • Yuqiu WangEmail author
  • Chunli ChuEmail author


The correct and reasonable delineation of actual hydrologic processes is a footstone for the effective simulation of pollutants in watershed models. In this study, a simple but comprehensive semidistributed modeling approach based on the generalized watershed loading function (GWLF) was modified to enable the accurate simulation of hydrology in watersheds. The frame of the original GWLF model (ORM), with a lumped hydrological parameter, was modified by adding channel routing processes, which made it possible to introduce the concept of subbasins. Then, the revised GWLF model was applied to the Luanhe watershed (30,000 km2) on a monthly bias in comparison with the ORM and the previously revised version. The sensitivity analysis and generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE) uncertainty analysis were individually conducted to evaluate these modifications. Eventually, we compared four extreme conditions for the daily streamflow simulations of the three model versions in the Tunxi watershed but without calibration. All of the results indicated that the stability and accuracy of the model and the validity of the parameters were all enhanced and improved by the new revised version of the model, which provided reliable simulation results and indicated that it is a prospective tool to support watershed management.


GWLF Hydrology Uncertainty Channel route 



We wish to thank the Hai River Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources and the Environmental Protection and Environment Monitoring Station of Huangshan City for providing the hydrology data. We would also like to acknowledge the National Science Data Share Project - Data Sharing Infrastructure of Earth System Science (China) for the data support. Finally, we are thankful for the investment of the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2017ZX07301-001-06).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOE Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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