DECIPHeR v1: Dynamic fluxEs and ConnectIvity for Predictions of HydRology

Gemma Coxon*, Jim Freer, Rosie Lane, Toby Dunne, Wouter Knoben, Nicholas Howden, Niall Quinn, Thorsten Wagener, Ross Woods

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
353 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents DECIPHeR (Dynamic fluxEs and ConnectIvity for Predictions of HydRology), a new model framework that simulates and predicts hydrologic flows from spatial scales of small headwater catchments to entire continents. DECIPHeR can be adapted to specific hydrologic settings and to different levels of data availability. It is a flexible model framework which includes the capability to (1) change its representation of spatial variability and hydrologic connectivity by implementing hydrological response units in any configuration and (2) test different hypotheses of catchment behaviour by altering the model equations and parameters in different parts of the landscape. It has an automated build function that allows rapid set-up across large model domains and is open-source to help researchers and/or practitioners use the model. DECIPHeR is applied across Great Britain to demonstrate the model framework. It is evaluated against daily flow time series from 1366 gauges for four evaluation metrics to provide a benchmark of model performance. Results show that the model performs well across a range of catchment characteristics but particularly in wetter catchments in the west and north of Great Britain. Future model developments will focus on adding modules to DECIPHeR to improve the representation of groundwater dynamics and human influences..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2285-2306
Number of pages22
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2019

Structured keywords

  • Water and Environmental Engineering


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