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Does the Budyko curve reflect a maximum-power state of hydrological systems? A backward analysis

Westhoff, M.; Zehe, E. 1; Archambeau, P.; Dewals, B.
1 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Almost all catchments plot within a small envelope around the Budyko curve. This apparent behaviour suggests that organizing principles may play a role in the evolution of catchments. In this paper we applied the thermodynamic principle of maximum power as the organizing principle.
In a top-down approach we derived mathematical formulations of the relation between relative wetness and gradients driving run-off and evaporation for a simple one-box model. We did this in an inverse manner such that, when the conductances are optimized with the maximum-power principle, the steady-state behaviour of the model leads exactly to a point on the asymptotes of the Budyko curve. Subsequently, we added dynamics in forcing and actual evaporation, causing the Budyko curve to deviate from the asymptotes. Despite the simplicity of the model, catchment observations compare reasonably well with the Budyko curves subject to observed dynamics in rainfall and actual evaporation. Thus by constraining the model that has been optimized with the maximum-power principle with the asymptotes of the Budyko curve, we were able to derive more realistic values of the aridity and evaporation index without any parameter calibration.
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DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000067992
DOI: 10.5194/hess-20-479-2016
Zitationen: 10
Zitationen: 11
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1027-5606, 1607-7938
KITopen-ID: 1000067992
Erschienen in Hydrology and earth system sciences
Verlag Copernicus Publications
Band 20
Heft 1
Seiten 479-486
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
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