A fast and effective parameterization of water quality models

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Water quality (WQ) models parameterization remains a challenging task, as these models are typically characterized by a high number of parameters. The objective of this study was to present a solution to the WQ parameterization problem by the use of a fast sensitivity analysis (SA) method and a manual calibration. For this purpose, we applied the simple screening LH-OAT method to the conceptual WQ model of the River Dender, Belgium. To evaluate the effectiveness of LH-OAT to identify the influential parameters, the advanced PAWN method was applied. A manual calibration was done using the influential parameters. LH-OAT provided a parameter ranking that was very similar to the one of PAWN but in a much more efficient way. The Bayesian uncertainty assessment showed the effectiveness of the LH-OAT results. To conclude, a fast screening method is preferred over an advanced SA method to identify the influential parameters for the calibration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105331
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Error model
  • Parameterization
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Uncertainty analysis


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