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Dalton Medal Lecture: How far can we go in distributed hydrological modelling?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper considers distributed hydrological models in hydrology as an expression of a pragmatic realism. Some of the problems of distributed modelling are discussed including the problem of nonlinearity, the problem of scale, the problem of equifinality, the problem of uniqueness and the problem of uncertainty. A structure for the application of distributed modelling is suggested based on an uncertain or fuzzy landscape space to model space mapping. This is suggested as the basis for an Alternative Blueprint for distributed modelling in the form of an application methodology. This Alternative Blueprint is scientific in that it allows for the formulation of testable hypotheses. It focusses attention on the prior evaluation of models in terms of physical realism and on the value of data in model rejection. Finally, some unresolved questions are outlined that distributed modelling must address in the future together with a vision for distributed modelling as a means of learning about places.