The Modcou Hydrological Model

The hydrological model MODCOU (MODélisation COUplée in French) is able to simulate the spatial and temporal relationship between precipitation and the evolution of the water table and river flows. It is a physically based distributed hydrological model developed by the Centre d'Informatique Géologique of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris to simulate surface-groundwater interactions [6]. It was applied at different spatial scales (river watersheds from a few to hundreds of thousands of square kilometres) located mainly in France but also elsewhere. It has been used with satisfactory results for the study of the Seine river basin, Paris region [7], the Aquitaine basin [8] and the Rhone river catchment [9].

In the MODCOU model, the water budget is computed for each grid box over a two-dimensional grid. The main components of the hydrological cycle are taken into account by using the so-called 'production functions', which refer to a system made of four reservoirs, including seven parameters which have to be calibrated [10].

Fig. 10.2 Downscaling from the CLM (20x20 km) to the hydrological grid
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