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Sensitivity analysis of EUROSEM using Monte Carlo simulation I : hydrological, soil and vegetation parameters.: hydrological, soil and vegetation parameters

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date15/04/2000
JournalHydrological Processes
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


Knowledge about model uncertainty is essential for erosion modelling and provides important information when it comes to parameterizing models. In this paper a sensitivity analysis of the European soil erosion model (EUROSEM) is carried out using Monte Carlo simulation, suitable for complex non-linear models, using time-dependent driving variables. The analysis revealed some important characteristics of the model. The variability of the static output parameters was generally high, with the hydrologic parameters being the most important ones, especially saturated hydraulic conductivity and net capillary drive followed by the percentage basal area for the hydrological and vegetation parameters and detachability and cohesion for the soil erosion parameters. Overall, sensitivity to vegetation parameters was insignificant. The coefficient of variation for the sedigraph was higher than for the hydrograph, especially from the beginning of the rainstorm and up to the peak, and may explain difficulties encountered when trying to match simulated hydrographs and sedigraphs with observed ones. The findings from this Monte Carlo simulation calls for improved within-storm modelling of erosion processes in EUROSEM. Information about model uncertainty will be incorporated in a new EUROSEM user interface.