Hydrologic processes simulation using the conceptual model Zygos: the example of Xynias drained Lake catchment (central Greece)

  • Nikos CharizopoulosEmail author
  • Aris Psilovikos
Original Article


In the catchment of Xynias drained Lake, hydrologic processes simulation took place using a lumped approach with the conceptual model Zygos. The model implements a conceptual soil moisture accounting scheme extended with a groundwater tank and the input data were the monthly time series of rainfall and the potential evapotranspiration. The automatic optimization procedure of the model was implemented using the evolutionary annealing-simplex algorithm for maximum 11,000 iterations, inserting an 18-month observed runoff time series. It showed that hydrologic balance factors had non-physical significance for the study area. The model’s manual calibration for a Nash coefficient of 0.85 revealed that actual evapotranspiration constitutes 62.5 % (389.7 mm), runoff 22.7 % (141.8 mm) and infiltration 14.8 % (92.2 mm) of precipitation, showing optimal adaptation of simulated to observed runoff. The model estimated the initial reserve of soil moisture related to the presence of organic matter which increases water retention, a residue of the former lake. It confirmed zero runoff values during the summer months and connected the occurrence of springs and the outflows to other catchments (59.8 mm) with the karstification degree of the study area. The error on the annual rainfall is 4.9 % and is considered acceptable.


Zygos hydrological model Hydrognomon Evolutionary annealing-simplex algorithm Xynias drained Lake catchment 



The authors would like to thank the research team ITIA of the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering of School of Civil Engineering in National Technical University of Athens for providing access to software utilized in this study. Acknowledgments are also expressed to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change for supplying the rainfall and meteorological data used for this study and to the reviewers and the editor for their helpful comments.


  1. Allred B, Haan CT (1996) SWMHMS-small watershed monthly hydrologic modelling system. Water Resour Bull 32(3):541–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Booij MJ, Krol MS (2010) Balance between calibration objectives in a conceptual hydrological model. Hydrol Sci J 55(6):1017–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Charizopoulos N (2013) Investigation on mechanisms of quantitative and qualitative deterioration of water and soil recourses in Domokos catchment by natural and anthropogenic processes. PhD dissertation, Agriculture University of AthensGoogle Scholar
  4. Chiew FHS, McMahon TA (1990) Estimating groundwater recharge using a surface watershed modelling approach. J Hydrol 114:285–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Demlie M (2015) Assessment and estimation of groundwater recharge for a catchment located in highland tropical climate in central Ethiopia using catchment soil–water balance (SWB) and chloride mass balance (CMB) techniques. Environ Earth Sci 74:1137–1150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drešković N, Samir Đ (2012) Applying the inverse distance weighting and Krigin methods of the spatial interpolation on the mapping the annual precipitation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Leipzig, Germany, pp 2754–2760Google Scholar
  7. Dripps WR, Bradbury KR (2007) A simple daily soil–water balance model for estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of groundwater recharge in temperate humid areas. Hydrogeol J 15:433–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Duethmann D, Zimmer J, Gafurov A, Gϋntner A, Kriegel D, Merz B, Vorogushyn S (2013) Evaluation of areal precipitation estimates based on downscaled reanalysis and station data by hydrological modelling. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 17:2415–2434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Efstratiadis A (2008) Non-linear methods in multiobjective water resource optimization problems, with emphasis on the calibration of hydrological models. Thesis (PhD), National Technical University of AthensGoogle Scholar
  10. Efstratiadis A, Koutsoyiannis D (2002) An evolutionary annealing-simplex algorithm for global optimisation of water resource systems. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on hydroinformatics, Cardiff, UK, pp 1423–1428Google Scholar
  11. Efstratiadis A, Koutsoyiannis D (2010) One decade of multi-objective calibration approaches in hydrological modelling: a review. Hydrol Sci J 55:58–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Efstratiadis A, Koukouvinos Α, Mamassis Ν, Koutsoyiannis D (2008) Alternative scenarios for the management and optimal operation of the Smokovo reservoir and the related works, Investigation of management scenarios for the Smokovo reservoir. National Technical University of Athens, Report No. 3Google Scholar
  13. EKBY/Greek Biotope-Wetland (2008) Feasibility study for the restoration of former Lake Xyniada. The Goulandris Natural History Museum—Greek Biotope Wetland Centre (EKBY). Report No. 1Google Scholar
  14. Elhag M et al (2011) Application of the Sebs water balance model in estimating daily evapotranspiration and evaporative fraction from remote sensing data over the Nile Delta. Water Resour Manag 25:2731–2742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Engeland K, Xu CY, Gottschalk L (2005) Assessing uncertainties in a conceptual water balance model using Bayesian methodology. Hydrolog Sci J 50(1):45–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. ESRI (2008) ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 Help. Accessed 15 Apr 2008
  17. Gasca D, Ross D (2009) The use of wetland water balances to link hydrogeological processes to ecological effects. Hydrogeol J 17:115–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hassan Z, Shamsudin S, Harun S, Malek M, Hamido N (2015) Suitability of ANN applied as a hydrological model coupled with statistical downscaling model: a case study in the northern area of Peninsular Malaysia. Environ Earth Sci 74:463–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hughes DA (1982) Conceptual catchment model parameter transfer studies using monthly data from the Southern Cape Coastal lakes Region. Rhodes University Grahamstown Report No: 1/82Google Scholar
  20. Hughes DA (1989) Estimation of the parameters of an isolated event conceptual model from physical catchment characteristics. Hydrol Sci J 34(5):539–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ITIA (2009) Hydrognomon, hydrological time series processing software. ITIA research team, National Technical University of Athens. Available from: Accessed 25 Nov 2009
  22. Jie Z et al (2011) Combination of soil-water balance models and water-table fluctuation methods for evaluation and improvement of groundwater recharge calculations. Hydrogeol J 19:1487–1502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Karmis P (2010) Electromagnetic geophysical survey in the area of drained Lake Xyniada. IGME, Athens 50 Google Scholar
  24. Karpouzos DK, Baltas EA, Kavalieratou S, Babajimopoulos C (2011) A hydrological investigation using a lumped water balance model: the Aison River Basin case (Greece). Water Environ J 25(3):297–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Karsili C (2013) Calculation of past and present water availability in the Mediterranean Region and future estimates according to the Thornthwaite water-balance Model. Master degree thesis, Lund UniversityGoogle Scholar
  26. Kozanis S, Efstratiadis A, Christofides A (2010) Scientific documentation of the Hydrognomon software (version 4), development of database and software applications in a web platform for the “National Databank for Hydrological and Meteorological Information”. ITIA research team, National Technical University of Athens Available from: Accessed 23 June 2010
  27. Krause P, Boyle DP, Base F (2005) Comparison of different efficiency criteria for hydrological model assessment. Adv Geosci 5:89–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Madsen Η (2000) Automatic calibration of a conceptual rainfall–runoff model using multiple objectives. J Hydrol 235:276–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Makhlouf Z, Michel C (1994) A two parameter monthly water balance model for French watersheds. J Hydrol 162:299–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marques JM, Samper J, Pisani B, Alvares D, Carvalho JM, Chaminé HI, Marques JM, Vieira GT, Mora C, Sodré Borges F (2011) Evaluation of water resources in a high-mountain basin in Serra da Estrela, Central Portugal, using a semi-distributed hydrological model. Environ Earth Sci 62:1219–1234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Myronidis D, Emmanouloudis D (2008) A water balance model of the Natura 2000 protected area “Nestos delta”. J Eng Sci Technol 1:45–48Google Scholar
  32. Nash JE, Sutcliffe JV (1970) River flow forecasting through conceptual models part I—a discussion of principles. J Hydrol 10(3):282–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nasseri M, Zahraie B, Ajami NK, Solomatine DP (2014) Monthly water balance modeling: probabilistic, possibilistic and hybrid methods for model combination and ensemble simulation. J Hydrol 511:675–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Panagopoulos A, Arampatzis G, Kuhr P, Kunkel R, Tziritis E, Wendland F (2015) Area-differentiated modeling of water balance in Pinios river Basin, central Greece. Global Nest J 17(2):221–235Google Scholar
  35. Pitman WV (1976) A mathematical model for generating daily river flows from meteorological data in South Africa. University of the Witwatersand, South Africa Hydrological Research, Unit Report No: 2/76Google Scholar
  36. Psilovikos A, Zarkadas P (2006) Water balance simulation model in the watershed of Kastoria lake. In: Proceedings of the 10th Hellenic Conference of the Hellenic Hydrotechnical Union, Xanthi, pp 63–71Google Scholar
  37. Roberts PJT (1979) Model FLEXIFIT: a conceptual rainfall runoff model for the extension of monthly runoff records. Hydrological Research Institute, Report TR98Google Scholar
  38. Rozos E (2010) Hydrological simulation of flow in aquifers of high incertitude. Thesis (PhD), National Technical University of AthensGoogle Scholar
  39. Rozos E et al (2004) Calibration of a semi-distributed model for conjunctive simulation of surface and groundwater flows. Hydrol Sci J 49(5):819–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ruelland D et al (2008) Sensitivity of a lumped and semi-distributed hydrological model to several methods of rainfall interpolation on a large basin in West Africa. J Hydrol 361(1):96–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Salas JD, Tabios IIIGQ, Obeysekera JTB (1986) Seasonal model for watershed simulation. Users Manual. Colorado State University, USAGoogle Scholar
  42. Samper J, Pisani B, Marques JE (2015) Hydrological models of interflow in three Iberian mountain basins. Environ Earth Sci 73:2645–2656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sentas A, Psilovikos A, Matzafleri N (2014) Application of stochastic models for predicting water quality in Dam–lake Thesaurus, Greece. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on protection and restoration of the environment, Skiathos, Greece, pp 458–463Google Scholar
  44. Servat E, Dezetter A (1993) Rainfall-runoff modelling and water resources assessment in northwestern Ivory Coast. Tentative extension to ungauged catchments. J Hydrol 148:231–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Soulios G (1975) Hydrogeological study of the Xyniada basin (Fthiotida). PhD dissertation, University of ThessalonikiGoogle Scholar
  46. Thornthwaite CW (1948) An approach toward a rational classification of climate. Geogr Rev 38(1):55–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Thornthwaite CW, Mather JR (1955) The water balance. Publ Climatol Lab Climatol Dresel Inst Technol 8(8):1–104Google Scholar
  48. Thornthwaite CW, Mather JR (1957) Instructions and tables for computing potential evapotranspiration and the water balance. Publ Climatol Lab Climatol Dresel Inst Technol 10(3):185–311Google Scholar
  49. Tsakiris G (ed) (1995) Precipitation. In: Water Resources: I. Engineering Hydrology, 1st edn. Symmetria, Athens, pp 121–148Google Scholar
  50. Tzouka A (2007) Interpretation of conceptual hydrologic model parameters with watershed characteristics. Exploration using the model Zygos. Thesis (MSc), National Technical University of AthensGoogle Scholar
  51. Vandewiele GL, Xu CY, NiLar W (1992) Methodology and comparative study of monthly water balance models in Belgium, China and Burma. J Hydrol 134:315–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Xu CY (1999) Estimation of parameters of a conceptual water balance model for ungauged catchments. Water Resour Manag 13(5):353–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Xu CY (2001) Statistical analysis of parameters and residuals of a conceptual water balance model—methodology and case study. Water Resour Manag 15:75–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Xu CY, Singh VP (1998) A review on monthly water balance models for water resources investigations. Water Resour Manag 12:31–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Xu CY, Seibert J, Halldin S (1996) Regional water balance modelling in the NOPEX area–development and application of monthly water balance models. J Hydrol 180:211–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Xu CY et al (2006) Evaluation of seasonal and spatial variations of lumped water balance model sensitivity to precipitation data errors. J Hydrol 324:80–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Mineralogy-GeologyAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic EnvironmentUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

Personalised recommendations