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Poster communications

Coupling machine learning with mechanistic models to study runoff production and river flow at the hillslope scale

Abstract : Geomorphological structure and geological heterogeneity of hillslopes are major controls on runoff responses. The diversity of hillslopes (morphological shapes and geological structures) on one hand, and the highly non linear runoff mechanism response on the other hand, make it difficult to transpose what has been learnt at one specific hillslope to another. Therefore, making reliable predictions on runoff appearance or river flow for a given hillslope is a challenge. Applying a classic model calibration (based on inverse problems technique) requires doing it for each specific hillslope and having some data available for calibration. When applied to thousands of cases it cannot always be promoted. Here we propose a novel modeling framework based on coupling process based models with data based approach. First we develop a mechanistic model, based on hillslope storage Boussinesq equations (Troch et al. 2003), able to model non linear runoff responses to rainfall at the hillslope scale. Second we set up a model database, representing thousands of non calibrated simulations. These simulations investigate different hillslope shapes (real ones obtained by analyzing 5m digital elevation model of Brittany and synthetic ones), different hillslope geological structures (i.e. different parametrizations) and different hydrologic forcing terms (i.e. different infiltration chronicles). Then, we use this model library to train a machine learning model on this physically based database. Machine learning model performance is then assessed by a classic validating phase (testing it on new hillslopes and comparing machine learning with mechanistic outputs). Finally we use this machine learning model to learn what are the hillslope properties controlling runoffs. This methodology will be further tested combining synthetic datasets with real ones.
Document type :
Poster communications
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 11:18:02 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 10:06:12 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-01417041, version 1


Jean Marçais, Hoshin Vijai Gupta, Jean-Raynald De Dreuzy, Peter Troch. Coupling machine learning with mechanistic models to study runoff production and river flow at the hillslope scale . American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2016, Dec 2016, San Francisco, United States. pp.NG13A-1687, 2016. ⟨insu-01417041⟩



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