Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2011, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 801-819.doi: 10.1007/s11442-011-0881-2

• Physical Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances in the study of uncertainty quantification of large-scale hydrological modeling system

SONG Xiaomeng1, ZHAN Chesheng2, KONG Fanzhe1, XIA Jun2   

  1. 1. School of Resource and Earth Science, China University of Mining &Technology, Xuzhou 221008, Jiangsu, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle &Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2010-12-07 Revised:2011-04-29 Online:2011-10-15 Published:2011-10-03
  • Contact: Zhan Chesheng, Ph.D, E-mail:
  • About author:Song Xiaomeng (1987-), Master Candidate, specialized in hydrology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    National Key Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB428403; National Grand Science and Technology Special Project of Water Pollution Control and Improvement, No.2009ZX07210-006


The regional hydrological system is extremely complex because it is affected not only by physical factors but also by human dimensions. And the hydrological models play a very important role in simulating the complex system. However, there have not been effective methods for the model reliability and uncertainty analysis due to its complexity and difficulty. The uncertainties in hydrological modeling come from four important aspects: uncertainties in input data and parameters, uncertainties in model structure, uncertainties in analysis method and the initial and boundary conditions. This paper systematically reviewed the recent advances in the study of the uncertainty analysis approaches in the large-scale complex hydrological model on the basis of uncertainty sources. Also, the shortcomings and insufficiencies in the uncertainty analysis for complex hydrological models are pointed out. And then a new uncertainty quantification platform PSUADE and its uncertainty quantification methods were introduced, which will be a powerful tool and platform for uncertainty analysis of large-scale complex hydrological models. Finally, some future perspectives on uncertainty quantification are put forward.

Key words: uncertainty quantification, hydrological model, PSUADE, land-atmosphere coupling model, large scale