On the Benefits of Bias Correction Techniques for Streamflow Simulation in Complex Terrain Catchments: A Case-Study for the Chitral River Basin in Pakistan
This work evaluates the suitability of linear scaling (LS) and empirical quantile mapping (EQM) bias correction methods to generate present and future hydrometeorological variables (precipitation, temperature, and streamflow) over the Chitral River Basin, in the Hindukush region of Pakistan. In particular, LS and EQM are applied to correct the high-resolution statistically downscaled dataset, NEX-GDDP, which comprises 21 state-of-the-art general circulation models (GCMs) from the coupled model intercomparison project phase 5 (CMIP5). Raw and bias-corrected NEX-GDDP simulations are used to force the (previously calibrated and validated) HBV-light hydrological model to generate long-term (up to 2100) streamflow projections over the catchment. Our results indicate that using the raw NEX-GDDP leads to substantial errors (as compared to observations) in the mean and extreme streamflow regimes. Nevertheless, the application of LS and EQM solves these problems, yielding much more realistic and plausible streamflow projections for the XXI century.
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