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Automatic parameter calibration for HSPF

Hydrologic Simulation Program - Fortran (HSPF) model calibration is typically done manually due to the lack of an automated calibration tool as well as the difficulty of balancing objective functions to be considered. This paper discusses the development and demonstration of an automated calibration tool for HSPF (HSPF-SCE). HSPF-SCE was developed using the open source software “R”. The tool employs the Shuffled Complex Evolution optimization algorithm (SCE-UA) to produce a pool of qualified calibration parameter sets from which the modeler chooses a single set of calibrated parameters. Six calibration criteria specified in the Expert System for the Calibration of HSPF (HSPEXP) decision support tool were combined to develop single, composite calibration sufficiency objective function for HSPF-SCE. The HSPF-SCE tool was demonstrated, and automated and manually calibrated model performance compared using three Virginia watersheds, where HSPF models had been previously prepared for bacteria total daily maximum load (TMDL) development. The example applications demonstrate that HSPF-SCE can be an effective tool for calibrating HSPF.

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