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SuperflexPy: a new open source framework for building conceptual hydrological models
  • Marco Dal Molin,
  • Dmitri Kavetski,
  • Fabrizio Fenicia
Marco Dal Molin
Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Dmitri Kavetski
School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide
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Fabrizio Fenicia
Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
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Conceptual models are among the most frequently used type of models in watershed modelling studies, due to their low computational requirements and ease of interpretation. Model selection requires the comparison of model alternatives, which is complicated when the models present in the literature differ in many uncontrolled aspects, such as conceptualization, implementation, and source code availability. To overcome this limitation, several model-building frameworks have been introduced in the last decade, which facilitate model comparisons by enabling different model alternatives within the same software and numerical architecture. Building on the decennial experience with the development and usage of Superflex, a flexible modeling framework for conceptual model building, so far implemented in FORTRAN language and not available as open source, we propose SuperflexPy, an open source Python framework for building conceptual hydrological models. Compared to other existing models or flexible frameworks, SuperflexPy is designed to be extremely easy to modify or extend, allowing scientists to build models that reflect their processes understanding; thanks to its object-oriented architecture and its complete integration with the Python programming environment, SuperflexPy can be seen as a high-level programming language for constructing hydrological models that are extremely flexible both in terms of elements configuration (i.e. how the elements are connected into a structure) and spatial organization. By design, SuperflexPy is not limited to water quantity but can be extended to simulate transport processes (water quality). In this presentation, we will illustrate the principles behind the design of the framework and showcase some applications.