Performance Assessment Comparison between Physically Based and Regression Hydrological Modelling: Case Study of the Euphrates–Tigris Basin

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Guzey G. E., Önöz B.

Sustainability (Switzerland), vol.15, no.13, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 13
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su151310657
  • Journal Name: Sustainability (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: performance metrics, regression models, surface water hydrology
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper presents two hydrological models developed for the Euphrates–Tigris Basin in Turkey. The first model is a linear regression-based model allowing the estimation of streamflow based on available hydroclimatic data (precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration, etc.) with the use of clustering analysis. The second model consists of an elevation-based semi-distributed hydrological model (HBV model), allowing process-based modelling of the watershed. A set of performance metrics identified the HBV model as the best performance in terms of predicting streamflow (NSE = 0.752), while the RCA4-EU regression model of CORDEX showed the most robust performance. The results show the potential of regression models from a computational and data point of view in being integrated into physically based models wherein a hybrid approach might be beneficial. The comparison of conceptual models with statistical analyses of streamflow shows the potential of regression analysis when the regions are clustered in hydro-meteorologically homogeneous groups. The employment of the conceptual model HBV also provides significantly robust streamflow estimation for the region, which is especially important in estimating the hydropower potential of the region’s near future.