Submitted as: model description paper 26 Oct 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 26 Oct 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Hydrostreamer v1.0 – improved streamflow predictions for local applications from an ensemble of downscaled global runoff products

Marko Kallio1,2, Joseph H. A. Guillaume3, Vili Virkki2, Matti Kummu2, and Kirsi Virrantaus1 Marko Kallio et al.
  • 1Geoinformatics Research Group, Department of Built Environment, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
  • 2Water and Development Research Group, Department of Built Environment, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
  • 3Institute for Water Futures & Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Abstract. An increasing number of different types of hydrological, land surface, and rainfall-runoff models exist to estimate streamflow in river networks. Results from various model runs from global to local scale are readily available online. However, the usability of these products is often limited, as they often come aggregated in spatial units which are not compatible with the desired analysis purpose. We present here an R package, a software library hydrostreamer v1.0 which aims to improve the usability of existing runoff products by addressing the Modifiable Area Unit Problem, and allows non-experts with little knowledge of hydrology-specific modelling issues and methods to use them for their analyses. Hydrostreamer workflow includes 1) interpolation from source zones to target zones, 2) river routing, and 3) data assimilation via model averaging, given multiple input runoff and observation data. The software implements advanced areal interpolation methods and area-to-line interpolation not available in other products, and is the first R package to provide vector-based routing. Hydrostreamer is kept as simple as possible – intuitive with minimal data requirements – and minimizes need for calibration. We tested the performance of hydrostreamer by downscaling freely available coarse-resolution global runoff products from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) in an application in 3S Basin in Southeast Asia. Results are compared to observed discharges as well as two benchmark streamflow data products, finding comparable or improved performance. Hydrostreamer v1.0 is open source and is available from under MIT licence.

Marko Kallio et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Marko Kallio et al.

Model code and software

Hydrostreamer v1.0.0 Marko Kallio

GMD hydrostreamer manuscript code and part of the data Marko Kallio

Marko Kallio et al.


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Short summary
Different runoff and streamflow products are freely available, but may come with unsuitable spatial units, and starting a new modelling exercise may require considerable resources. Hydrostreamer improves the usability of existing runoff products allowing runoff and streamflow estimates at the desired spatial units with minimal data requirements and intuitive workflow. Case study shows that hydrostreamer performs well compared to benchmark products and observation data.