21 Oct 2021
21 Oct 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A 500-year runoff reconstruction for European catchments

Sadaf Nasreen1, Markéta Součková1, Mijael Rodrigo Vargas Godoy1, Ujjwal Singh1, Yannis Markonis1, Rohini Kumar2, Oldrich Rakovec1,2, and Martin Hanel1 Sadaf Nasreen et al.
  • 1Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Praha-Suchdol 16500, Czech Republic
  • 2UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig 04318, Germany

Abstract. Since the beginning of this century, Europe has been experiencing severe drought events (2003, 2007, 2010, 2018, and 2019) which have had adverse impacts on various sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, water management, health, and ecosystems. During the last few decades, projections of the impact of climate change on hydroclimatic extremes were often capable of reproducing changes in the characteristics of these extremes. Recently, the research interest has been extended to include reconstructions of hydro-climatic conditions to provide historical context for present and future extremes. While there are available reconstructions of temperature, precipitation, drought indicators, or the 20th century runoff for Europe, long-term runoff reconstructions are still lacking (e.g, monthly or daily runoff series for short periods are commonly available). Therefore, we considered reconstructed precipitation and temperature fields for the period between 1500 and 2000 together with reconstructed scPDSI, natural proxy data, and observed runoff over 14~European catchments to calibrate and validate the semi-empirical hydrological model GR1A and two data-driven models (Bayesian recurrent and long short-term memory neural network). The validation of input precipitation fields revealed an underestimation of the variance across most of Europe. On the other hand, the data-driven models have been proven to correct this bias in many cases, unlike the semi-empirical hydrological model GR1A. The comparison to observed historical runoff data has shown a good match between the reconstructed and observed runoff and between the runoff characteristics, particularly deficit volumes. The reconstructed runoff is available via figshare, an open source scientific data repository under the DOI, (Sadaf et al., 2021).

Sadaf Nasreen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-282', Gionata Ghiggi, 26 Oct 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sadaf Nasreen, 12 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-282', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Dec 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Sadaf Nasreen, 12 Jan 2022

Sadaf Nasreen et al.

Data sets

A 500-year runoff reconstruction for European catchments Sadaf Nasreen, Markéta Součková, Mijael Rodrigo Vargas Godoy, Ujjwal Singh, Yannis Markonis, Rohini Kumar, Oldrich Rakovec, and Martin Hanel

Sadaf Nasreen et al.


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Short summary
This article presents a 500-year reconstructed annual runoff dataset for several European catchments. Several data-driven and hydrological models were used to derive the runoff series using reconstructed precipitation and temperature and a set of proxy data. The simulated runoff was validated using independent observed runoff data and documentary evidence. The validation revealed a good fit between the observed and reconstructed series for 14 catchments, which are available for further analysis.